If you have a home built before the mid 1990s, the ductwork may be suffering the effects of old age. Aging ductwork can develop cracks in joint seals, corrosion in humid areas and even come apart if the joints were only held together with duct tape. These issues can force your furnace system to work harder to heat your home. Fixing them can save up to 25 percent on your heating bills.
Air leaks in your ductwork cause much of your heated air to end up in the spaces between your walls and beneath the floor boards. They also allow unfiltered air to be pulled into the system and potentially distribute pollutants throughout the house. This includes allergy-causing dust, household chemicals and fumes from the garage.
You can do some repair work on your own. Visually inspecting any accessible ductwork for leaks is a good place to start. Check the runs in the attic, basement and crawlspace. Disconnected runs will be easy to find. Other things to look for are peeling duct tape, dust lines near joints, and rusting or corrosion along the ductwork. Also check the connections between registers and the duct line. They often come detached and need to be sealed. Use mastic sealant or metal-backed tape to seal all of the leaks you find.
Once you have sealed your leaks, check the airflow into each room. Do this by switching the thermostat to the “fan on” position. If there is an area of the home that has significantly lower airflow, there may be a blockage or large leak in an area you can’t easily access. If this is the case, call a professional HVAC tech to do a full blower test.
The blower test will help determine if there is a pressure loss in the system. If there is, the contractor can find and repair it, giving you better efficiency and cleaner air.
For more advice on how to handle aging ductwork to improve your home’s energy efficiency, please contact the Indianapolis HVAC experts at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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