If you see signs of ductwork problems in your Asheville area home, you’re wasting energy and money. Here are a few simple checks you can carry out to identify areas throughout your ductwork where you might need some attention. Once fixed, you can benefit from lowered utility bills and increased working life of your equipment.
- Uninsulated ducts: Ducts running through unconditioned spaces such as attics or vented crawlspaces should be insulated. If ducts in your basement are not insulated, you’re probably better off insulating the basement itself, as heat from those ducts will rise into the house above.
- Damaged or torn ductwork: Look for obvious signs of ductwork problems, such as holes and disconnected sections near bends and joints. If your house is drawing in cold air from the outside, it’s a good indication that your supply side is leaking and is causing a pressure drop in the house rooms.
- Inadequate return-side ductwork: Ideally your system should be pressure balanced between supply and return ductwork. However, many homes don’t have sufficient (or any) return ductwork. This causes a buildup of pressure in the living spaces which leads to warm air being leaked to the outside. It also causes the furnace to work harder in order to heat up the colder air drawn in.
- Loose duct joints: Leaks are likely where sections of ductwork join; use a mastic-based cement or silicon caulking to repair. Other signs of ductwork problems are where you can see a buildup of soot on existing insulation on your return ducts. It indicates that they are drawing in air and therefore sealing your ducts is a must.
- Other signs of ductwork problems: If any rooms are constantly stuffy, hard to heat or cool down, this is a good indication that you have leaky ductwork or pressure imbalances in your living spaces. You can never completely seal a house, but poor ductwork can drastically increase the impact of air leaks in your home.
For more professional advice regarding ductwork problems and other home comfort information, please contact us at Smoky Mountain Heating and Air.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Asheville, North Carolina and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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