Struggling with Sealing Air Duct Leaks? Save the Day with Aeroseal Duct Sealant
If you notice your HVAC working harder and needing more repairs than normal, you may have a leak in your air ducts, making your system struggle to maintain its regular temperature. Don’t let your air conditioning waste energy. Learn these signs that your air ducts are leaking and how to fix them.
Telltale Signs of Leaky Air Ducts
Since your ductwork is above the ceiling or between the walls, it’s difficult to tell if it has leaks without inspecting the system. Nevertheless, if your home in Corpus Christi shows these signs, you may have a leaky air duct.
High energy costs. Noticing your energy bill is much higher—without known causes of increased energy use—could be a sign of a leak in your ducts, allowing cooled air to slip into places that don’t need it. Unintentionally cooling the attic or releasing cooled air outside can raise your utility bill quickly.
Uneven heating. With holes spilling air along the way, some rooms may stay warmer than the rest without full-blast air conditioning. This can also indicate a leak in ducts distributing the air.
Heavy dust. Cracks in the air ducts allow dust and dirt from the attic or outside to collect in the house. You may notice increased debris around the house, or your home may get dirty more quickly than usual.
Odd smells. Aside from spreading excess dust in the house, leaks in the ductwork can also collect and spread harmful fumes from paint stored in the attic, a gas tank outside, or other stored chemicals.
Recurring HVAC repairs. While it’s more common for older HVAC systems to break down and need repair, a new HVAC should run smoothly for a decade or more with regular maintenance. However, leaks in the air ducts force the system to work harder and wear down. Catch a leak early on to lengthen your system’s lifespan.
How Much Energy Is Wasted from Leaky Air Ducts?
Sealing air ducts can save you hundreds of dollars in wasted energy: over $300 a year on average. Leaky ducts force your HVAC system to work much harder for heating and cooling. A leak that lets out 20% of the cooled air from your air conditioner requires 50% more power to keep your home at your desired temperature. That makes finding and sealing leaks well worth your time.
At-Home Duct Leakage Test
If you know your ducts leak or suspect they do, conduct this simple test to identify the source of leaks. If the damage is minor, you may decide to patch the leaks yourself. However, it’s best to bring in the pros if you discover many hard-to-reach leaks.
Inspect for visible tears. Start by examining your ducts for holes or tears. Mark the spots with a grease pencil for later repair.
Turn on the HVAC system. This allows the air to flow through the ducts so you can feel leaks of air passing through. Hover your hand over the duct’s surface to feel for escaping air.
Examine duct joints. Take a good look at the joints of each duct. This is where you will commonly find leaks as the joint wears out over time.
Look for old duct tape patches. If you’re not the house’s first owner, it’s possible the previous owner patched up some leaks with tape. Because duct tape is not rated for fire or smoke, removing and re-patching it with approved sealant is a safer and more effective option.
Light an incense stick. With the HVAC running, you can identify leaks where the smoke swirls differently. This lets you detect leaks that are too small to see or feel with your hand.
Seal leaks. Now that you know where all the leaks are, you can start to seal each leak. While DIY options exist, professional HVAC technicians have the tools and skills to offer a more permanent and thorough solution.
Re-test ducts. After the leaks are all sealed, go over the ducts again to see if any leaks were missed.
How to Fix Leaking Air Ducts
Keeping your family safe and comfortable in your Corpus Christi home includes eliminating leaks in your air ducts that could compromise indoor air quality and decrease temperature control. Try these methods for sealing air duct leaks.
Duct sealing tape. HVAC duct sealing tape is the first and simplest option for sealing leaky ducts. This aluminum tape is available in most hardware stores. While it can work as a quick and easy fix, the tape is not as reliable as other options. If your ducts get greasy, duct sealing tape will fail more quickly.
Note: “duct tape” and “duct sealing tape” are not the same thing. Duct tape is a misnomer, as it’s not rated to work on ducts. Duct sealing tape may also be called mastic tape or aluminum foil tape.
Mastic duct sealant. While this is a messier option than tape, mastic air duct sealant has longer-lasting durability. It can be applied with a paintbrush or caulk gun to seal leaks. For easier cleanup, choose a water-based sealant. Larger leaks (1/4 inch or larger) may need a combination of liquid mastic duct sealant and another product, such as fiberglass mesh tape.
Aeroseal duct sealant. This innovative technology allows technicians to pressurize and analyze your ducts for leaks. It also makes the sealing process quick and more precise. Using only minimum amounts of mastic sealant, cleanup is also much easier and less messy.
Expert Aeroseal Sealant Technicians in Corpus Christi
Repairing leaks in your air ducts can increase your energy savings and improve the air quality of your home. Our expert HVAC technicians at One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Corpus Christi are skilled in operating aerosol-based sealant technology that can identify and seal micro leaks in your ductwork. For fast and efficient service, call us at (361) 245-3945 or request an appointment online.