One of the biggest costs that a homeowner has to contend with is the cost of heating and cooling a home. Rather than grit your teeth and accept that your HVAC costs will always be high, there are some steps you can take to keep your costs more manageable. For example, you can check you ducts for leaks and repair any that you find.
How Leaky Ducts Affect Your Heating and Cooling Costs
The air flowing through your ducts exerts an outward pressure. This pressure causes a strain to joints and seams, which can cause them to fail over time. Once leaks develop, air can leak out of your ducts, and decreased air flow means there is less air available to condition the air in your home, which in turn means that your AC unit and furnace have to work harder. In fact, leaky ducts can decrease your HVAC efficiency by up to 40%.
How to Repair Leaky Ducts
If your ducts are encased in drywall, then you should hire a duct contractor to repair your ducts. On the other hand, if you have exposed ducts in your attic, crawlspace, or in any unfinished spaces in your home, you can repair your own ducts, provided that you know what you are doing:
1. Turn your thermostat to the fan setting so that there is a constant flow of air moving through your ducts.
2. Access your ducts and light a stick of incense.
3. Slowly move the incense along the joints and seams in your ducts.
4. Use a permanent marker to place a mark wherever you see a disturbance in the smoke curling off of the incense.
5. Once you have covered the whole length of your exposed ducting, turn your thermostat off.
6. Once you have found all the leaks, you can come back with duct mastic and make repairs. Duct mastic is a thick paste that you paint onto your ducts with a putty knife or paint brush. Spread an even layer of mastic over any leaks you find.
7. Give your mastic time to dry before you turn your thermostat back on.
As you can see, making repairs is not difficult as long as you can access your ducts. Duct professionals will have specialized equipment that they can use to repair leaks in enclosed ducts, so you should leave making repairs to enclosed ducts to them. In any case, making repairs to leaky ducts can help you to save money on your HVAC costs.
For more information about healing and cooling, contact Universal Enterprises Inc. or a similar company.