If you have a home that has forced-air heating or cooling, you have a duct system. This system is the core of your comfort level within your home. If you have a room that is always too cold or too hot, you are probably looking at one of the signs that your duct system is in need of repairs. If you live in the Sarasota & Bradenton area and you’re experiencing this problem, it’s time to call Baker & Son’s Heating & Air Conditioning.
Some estimates suggest that the typical home loses 20% of the air moving through the ducts before the system is fully pressurized. That air loss not only reduces the efficiency of your HVAC system, it raises the cost of heating and cooling your home.
Any of the following issues can be causing leaks:
- Damaged or disconnected ducts.
- Ducts that aren't sealed properly where they meet the registers or grills.
- Ducts that are leaking at the furnace and filter slot connections.
There’s also the issue of restricted airflow when a flexible duct becomes kinked or collapses. This prevents the system from working at peak efficiency.
All of these issues can lead to high utility bills.
Energy Benefits of Duct Repair
Duct repair and ventilation modifications can have significant impacts on energy usage, temperature, humidity, and building pressures. Savings can range from 17 to 35% over the amount of electricity used before the ducts were sealed up.
The amount of benefit you receive from duct repair is connected with how well sealed and insulated a home is. Well insulated homes won't see quite as large a gain in energy efficiency as a home that has high heat loss rates, but savings of between 5 – 10% can still be expected.
Making sure that your ductwork is in good repair is even more important if the ducts are located in areas of your home which are not insulated (known as unconditioned spaces).
Old Duct Repair
One of the major issues with duct work in old homes is the fact that ducts are rarely insulated and are usually metal. This is especially a concern when the ductwork is either under the house in a crawl space or in a non-insulated attic. Several problems can arise when this is the case:
- Condensation in metal ducts sets up the perfect breeding ground for mold, mildew and even viruses
- Condensation encourages rust which can perforate ducts
- In winter, you lose heat and in summer you lose cool air.
Manufactured Home Duct Repair
Manufactured homes are especially prone to leaking ducts. The design of most mobile homes depends on a central distribution system known as a plenum. The connection between the plenum and furnace is a common leak site. This connection depends on a sleeve connection which is often misaligned or crumpled. Major leaks occur when this happens.
The end caps on the plenum are also a common leak site. Not only does the plenum end 8 – 10 ft. past the last register in many cases. It leaks. One of the best ways to deal with this issue is to install a sheet metal "dam" right past the last register and seal it with duct mastic. You’ll then stop paying to warm or cool air that never comes into your home.
The moving of a manufactured home often causes issues with the ducts. The boot to floor and the boot to plenum connections get damaged during the stress. Slip joint connections work loose and crossover connections disconnect, causing outrageous heating bills in the winter.
In manufactured homes, a combination of repairing the ducts and adding additional insulation below the ducts can result in significant energy savings.
Identifying the Need for Duct Repair
The first step to identifying the need for duct repairs is to check for air leaks. Baker & Sons Air Conditioning has the expertise to do this for you. We use the air test results to identify leaks and constrictions. We also check all the visible parts of your system to make sure you have adequate insulation installed. We’ll give you a clear breakdown of what we find and our recommendations. It's our goal to eliminate those uncomfortable rooms in your home.
Whether you live in a site-built home or a manufactured home, keeping the ductwork in your home in good condition is a worthwhile investment. It will save on energy costs and it will make your home more enjoyable every