When we offer advice to people about how to prepare their HVAC systems during the fall so they’re ready for winter, we start with a reminder about regular heating maintenance. This is the number one priority to ensure a heating system works at peak efficiency and safety and encounters few (if any) malfunctions.
But we have another piece of advice for homes with central heating, which is to have the ductwork tested to check for leaks. Sealing leaky ductwork makes an enormous difference for both comfort and energy savings in winter.
Do I Need Duct Sealing Every Year?
You need duct sealing when you have leaky ducts—it’s not a preventive measure, but a repair. You’ll need to watch for signs of leaking ducts so you’ll know it’s time to arrange for sealing:
- Rattling sounds from the ductwork when the heater comes on.
- Much higher heating (and cooling) bills than normal.
- Musty and moldy smells from the vents.
- Abnormal problems with humidity.
- Uneven heating, with rooms colder than normal.
Any of these could point to different repair issues in the HVAC system, and leaking ducts are one of the most common causes. Duct testing from professionals will find out the state of the ducts and if they need sealing. We also recommend testing the ducts every few years even if you don’t notice warning signs.
How Duct Sealing Benefits You in Winter
Ducts with air leaks create problems around the year, no matter if you’re using your heating system or air conditioning system. The ductwork of the ventilation system is supposed to have an airtight seal along its length to maintain air pressure. Breaks in the seal drop air pressure and allow already heated air to escape into closed-off parts of the house where it doesn’t do any good.
When the ducts are properly sealed using professional tools like metallic tapes and mastic sealant, it benefits a home during winter in the following ways:
- Better comfort: Imagine warm, cozy air coming from your furnace that heads through a duct passage to a bedroom. But on the way, leaks along the metal, plastic, or ductboard of the ducts allows 30% of the heated air to escape. Around a third of the heat intended for the room ends up going nowhere. As a result, the bedroom feels drafty and colder than the other rooms. The more leaks around the ventilation system, the more cold and uncomfortable the rooms. When the ducts are sealed, the house will be heated the way it’s supposed to be.
- Energy savings: If 30% of the air you’ve already paid to heat never reaches the rooms, that’s money wasted. The heating system must work longer to make up for the loss, and you’ll see the difference on your energy bills. You don’t want to pay 30% more each winter to warm up your home! Seal those ducts and you won’t have to.
To arrange for duct sealing in Madera, CA or elsewhere in the Central Valley, call us! We’re not only an HVAC repair contractor, we work with ductwork design and construction—we know the best ways to repair damaged ducts in a home.