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The Ductwork in Your Home: If It Leaks, You’ve Got a Couple of Problems

The Ductwork in Your Home: If It Leaks, You've Got a Couple of ProblemsIt’s so easy to ignore the ductwork in your home since it’s out of sight, but if you develop ductwork leaks, the problems it manifests can be serious. Leaks form at any time in ducts, although older homes tend to have more problems than newer ones. Adhesive can dry out, caulk can shrink naturally. Closing off a room to save energy is a good way to cause ductwork leakages because the added pressure can force ducts apart. The serious effects of leaking ducts include:

  • Reduced indoor air quality. Ducts that traverse through the attic, walls or basement can pick up all kinds of dust and loose insulation fibers and distribute them throughout your home. If your home has an attached garage, leaks can also pull the fumes from your garage into your home, including vehicle exhaust and gases from any chemicals you store inside it.
  • Carbon monoxide (CO). If you use any vented gas appliances, the leaks can pull CO into your home, regardless of the season if you have a gas dryer or water heater.
  • Vermin. Insects and vermin can enter your ductwork through leaks if the leaks are large enough.
  • High energy bills. All the air leaking from your ducts doesn’t go into the spaces you need to heat or cool. This makes your system work longer and harder, increasing your energy bills. If the ducts go through unconditioned spaces, they’ll pull that cold or hot air into your home, which makes your home even more uncomfortable and further increases the amount of time your system has to run.

If you have rooms that are too hot or cold or notice some rooms have more dust than others, suspect ductwork leaks. An HVAC professional can spot problems using special equipment that can pinpoint the problem areas. He or she will seal them with mastic or metal tape. Duct tape should never be used on ducts, since its adhesive is so short lived. To learn more about ductwork leaks, contact Arpi’s Industries. We’ve provided HVAC services for Calgary homeowners for more than 50 years. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta 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

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