If you have a furnace, air conditioning system or heat pump, you have duct work delivering the heat or cool air to the rooms in your home. The condition of those ducts can play a major role in how much electricity you pay to heat and cool your home each month. The condition can also play a role in how healthy you are. If you live in the Sarasota, Florida area, call Baker & Son’s Heating & Air to have your ducts tested.
You still pay for conditioned air (heated or cooled) even when it leaks out of the system. This can cost you between 10 and 30% extra on your energy bill.
Purpose of Duct Testing
The major goal of duct testing is to assess whether there is any air being lost. An HVAC professional uses 2 methods to test ducts – pressurization subtraction and traditional duct testing.
Pressurization subtraction pressurizes an area of a building and takes readings off a pressure gauge. Then the same space is pressurized with all the ducts blocked off.
Duct testing on the other hand, focuses on pressurizing the ducts themselves. All the duct registers and grills are sealed off for the test. Then a fan with calibrated pressure gauges delivers a gentle flow of air into the sealed duct system. The pressure gauges then read how much pressure is escaping from the system.
Duct testing is the more accurate type of testing because it gets a more accurate reading on actual air loss. One reason for this is the fact that the fan simulates the actual conditions during normal operations.
When to Schedule Duct Testing
Scheduling duct testing before purchasing a home can be a worthwhile investment. Florida does not require HERS (Home Energy Rating System) reports, so you could end up purchasing a home that costs a great deal to keep comfortable. A duct test can either place you in a better bargaining position, or prevent you from buying the wrong home for your budget.
If you have high heating or air conditioning costs, consider duct testing immediately. Lost air, especially in mobile homes, is a major cause of high heating and cooling bills. Identifying the problem is the first step to taking control of how much you spend to be comfortable.
If you are replacing an old air conditioning or heating system, you should have the duct system tested. For one, if your existing duct system is leaking, then you won't experience the benefits you expect from your new equipment. It is also important to inspect your ducts before a new HVAC installation to assure that the old system will be adequate.
You should also consider duct testing if you have scheduled a diagnostic tune-up for your HVAC system. Any improvements in performance won't be noticed as much if the ducts aren't in a condition to support the system improvements.
What to Expect During Duct Testing
Duct testing only takes about an hour in most homes, and slightly longer in small commercial properties. The duct tester is attached to the blower compartment or main return grill. All of the remaining supply registers and return grills are then taped shut. The duct tester fan is then turned on, and the system is pressurized. Once the pressure is stable, the amount of fan pressure is converted into fan flow per cubic feet per minute. This will tell you just how leaky your ducts are.
What to Expect After Duct Testing
The results will determine whether you need repairs or not. If repairs are indicated, the test results will indicate which strategy you should use to repair the ducts. For systems that have barely failed expectations, sealing may be all that is required. Duct sealing focuses on the locations where air leakage most commonly occurs—connections, collars, splices, etc.
When leakage is extremely high, duct tests may indicate that major repairs may be needed. Often parts of the ductwork may have become completely disconnected or are severely damaged. Flexible ducts are a common problem site. Renovation may even be necessary once the system is thoroughly inspected.
Baker & Sons Air Conditioning, Inc. has been delivering duct testing services to both homes and commercial properties in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte Counties for years now. Our specialty is helping our clients maintain efficient HVAC systems, no matter the scale. Our goal is to eliminate the unpleasant surprises in your life, by providing as accurate an up-front quote as possible.
We know that quality work at a reasonable rate is important to you. That's why we invite you to contact us today about duct testing. What we find could save you money for years to come.