Have you been wondering why that one room in your home is always colder or warmer than the others? The answer may be in your “duct work.”
Ducts power your home’s forced-air heating and cooling system by distributing air throughout your house. A duct system is made up of a large metal box and cylinder-like pipes that run through ceilings and walls to your home’s air vents. According to some studies, 20 to 30 percent of the air that moves through a residential duct system is lost to holes, leaks, and gaps. This loss of energy causes your heating and cooling system to work harder, resulting in higher utility bills throughout the year. If you have any of the following problems, then a low-performing ductwork system may be to blame:
- There are some rooms in your home that are difficult to heat up or cool down
- Your utility bills are unusually high in the winter and summer
- There are tangled or kinked flexible ducts in your system
Over time, your heating and cooling system starts to run down, which is why it is important that you inspect your duct work annually. Also, improperly sealed ducts can have a negative impact on your health. A leakage can push dirty air, molds, microbes, and even radon gas or carbon monoxide into your home. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has listed duct work leakage as a contributor to lung cancer and other respiratory illnesses.
Because ducts are typically located in hard to reach places, it is recommend that you have a professional maintenance your system. However, you can improve your duct system’s performance on your own by making improvements to accessible areas. Use the appropriate mastic sealant or metal tape to seal air leaks in ducts. Check to see that the connecting points of the ducts to your home’s vents are well sealed where they meet at the ceiling, walls, or floors. Do not use duct tape to seal gaps — it will not last and may lose adhesiveness over time. The EPA provides an in-depth DIY ductwork inspection brochure that can help you with this process.
Sealing your duct work not only helps you improve the energy efficiency of your home, but it also benefits the environment. The energy that is often exhausted by homes comes from fossil fuels that are burned at power plants. The less energy that your system uses for your home, the less air pollution it generates.
Now that the weather is getting warmer, let 7Oil get your cooling system running more efficiently by servicing your ductwork.