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An Air Duct Leak Wreaks a Lot of Havoc

An Air Duct Leak Wreaks a Lot of Havoc

An air duct leak might seem like a minor problem, but it can lead to major consequences. If you’ve never paid attention to the ducts in your Marietta home, it’s likely that they leak - at least a little. Don’t worry; fixing an air duct leak is something a skilled homeowner or a professional HVAC technician can handle.

What’s the Big Deal?

Your ductwork system is designed to deliver the heated and cooled air generated by your HVAC system efficiently to your home as long as the ductwork operates in ideal conditions. Leaks are, of course, not ideal. According to estimates from ENERGY STAR, 20 percent of all the air an average home HVAC system produces is wasted by leaks, damaged ducts or loose ducts. If you pay $100 per month to cool your home, you’re wasting $20.

Stop the Gap

Sealing air duct leaks is a great project for your spring to-do list. Sealing leaks has several benefits:

  • Improved comfort: You’ll experience fewer hot and cold zones in your home.
  • Higher air quality: When you have tightly sealed ducts, less pollution will enter you home. Leaky ducts let insulation particles, chemicals and dust through.
  • Better home safety: When ducts leak while the furnace is running, the leak allows backdrafting to occur. In this process, hazardous carbon monoxide is directed into the living spaces.
  • Lower energy consumption: And therefore, lower energy bills.

To do the job yourself, you need just a few tools. One method involves mastic putty and a putty knife. The other involves specialized tape.

Find the Leaks

While the HVAC system is on, run your hand over the ducts that you can access. Feel for air coming out of the connections, and use a permanent marker or piece of tape to mark the sections that leak.

Seal the Leaks

  • To apply the sealant, take a generous amount of mastic putty and apply it over leaky sections. Use some elbow grease to force the sealant around the connections. Smooth the sealant with your hand or with a putty knife.
  • To apply the tape, wrap it around the connections that leak. Overlap the tape so that it extends out a few inches of each side of the leak.

You’ll need to call a professional if you suspect you have leaks in ducts that you are unable to access. For expert advice about home heating and cooling, or to ask about our expert home performance services, contact Casteel Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.