When you have a central air system, your home comfort and energy bills both depend on how air gets from your HVAC system to your living areas. The air in your home passes through the ductwork, and duct maintenance helps it get where it needs to in order to keep you cool in summer and warm in winter. Here’s how to make sure your ductwork is as healthy as it can be.
Check for Air Leaks in Your Ductwork
An HVAC contractor can measure airflow through your ducts and give you an exact picture of how much air is being lost to leaks. You can also look for visible punctures or tears, loose joints or patterns of blown-out dust in accessible ducts.
What If You Find a Leak?
Be sure to seal it with an approved tape. Despite its name, “duct tape” isn’t the right tool for the job! The rubber-backed duct tape fails quickly, especially when used in places with temperature variations, such as hot- and cold-air ducts. Use duct mastic, and if the hole is too large to be sealed with mastic, seal it with webbed drywall tape before applying the mastic.
Install Insulation Around Ductwork
When all leaks have been sealed, it’s time to insulate the ducts. Insulation prevents the air in the duct from gaining or losing heat to equalize with the air in crawl spaces and non-conditioned areas of your home. Even without a leak, uninsulated ducts can lose energy.
To seal and insulate ducts in inaccessible areas of your home, call a professional.
Use a Moisture Barrier on Top of the Insulation
If moisture infiltrates the insulation and mold, mildew or fungus begins to grow in the insulating medium, the insulation will need to be replaced.
To learn more about duct maintenance in your San Antonio home or to hire a contractor to seal and insulate your ducts professionally, contact the Beyer Boys!
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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