Leaks in the air ducts inside homes can account for an astonishing loss of up to 30% of the air moving though the ventilation system. When you consider that you pay to cool down that air (or, during our short spates of cold weather, heat it up), that is a lot of money that ends up going to waste. Leaky ducts also contribute to placing excess strain on the HVAC system and can even lead to dust and mold developing inside the ducts. If your ventilation system is losing air, you need to contact professionals to seal the holes.
But how can I tell that there are leaks in the first place?
This is a good question, because you can’t see most of the ducts in your home. They are hidden behind walls and in the floors. But there are some signs that will warn you about the problem:
- A rise in cooling/heating bills: That 30% loss of air we mentioned above? That will definitely show up on your energy bills for the season. So when there is an unexplained rise in the cost to heat or cool your home, leaky air ducts are one of the likely causes.
- Musty smells from the vents: The ducts travel through closed-in sections of your home that are often filled with musty and dusty air. Air leaks will draw in this air and result in you detecting odd smells from the air that wafts from the vents. Better call for duct testing to see if you have air leaks.
- Drop in air pressure: Place your hand over the registers of your vents when the HVAC system is running. Does the air pressure feel lower than before? Then it’s possible that the pressure inside the ducts is dropping because of air leaks.
If you suspect a drop in the integrity of your ventilation system’s ductwork, call for duct testing that will be able to give you a firm answer. If you do have leaks, professionals duct sealing will solve the problem.