The ductwork in your home has the important job of delivering conditioned air to your living spaces. Yet ductwork in the average Long Island home leaks around 20 percent of that air before it ever reaches the rooms. Sealing your ducts prevents most of that leakage, increasing air duct efficiency, improving air quality, and lowering home heating and cooling bills.
You may have leaky ducts if…
- Your heating bills are high even with the thermostat turned down
- You’re unable to heat your home evenly
- Your home feels stuffy or has humidity problems
- Your rooms are excessively dusty
Air leaks are typically found around the joints between duct sections and often occur when these sections were simply pushed together during installation without any sealing material applied. Look for poor connections where the duct system connects to the furnace or air conditioner, at sectioned elbows and branches, and where ducts connect to registers in the floor, ceiling or wall. Streaks of dirt around duct connections and registers are a tell-tale sign of air escaping from the dust system.
Keep in mind that much of your duct system may be hidden within walls or floors. To find leaks in these ducts, you’ll need a trusted HVAC specialist to conduct a proper inspection.
Simple sealing solutions
Silver duct tape isn’t the best material for sealing ductwork in your home because it breaks down when exposed to heat. The most effective sealing options are foil-backed tape with a UL rating of at least 181 and sealing mastic.
While foil tape is often the best choice, it’s essential to apply it correctly with a plastic squeegee or putty knife. You can apply mastic with a paintbrush and gloved hands. To seal gaps where ducts pass through the floor or ceiling, use spray foam caulk. To ensure a strong seal, clean the duct surface before applying any sealant.
Once you’ve sealed your ducts, consider installing duct wrap insulation to further improve the energy efficiency of the ductwork.
For more expert guidance on sealing the ductwork in your home, contact us at Cool Power, LLC. We’ve been serving Long Island since 1975.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hauppauge, New York and the Long Island area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about ductwork and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock