Your energy bill is suddenly on the rise, but you haven’t been using your heater more than usual. You’ve looked up countless HVAC blogs, sifting through probable repair issues, but none of them seem to be resonating with your problem.
If that’s the case, what you might be looking at is a duct leak. Leaks in your duct system can substantially drive up your energy expenses, all without making a sound or displaying any kind of obvious symptoms. If you didn’t know what to look for, it would be truly puzzling.
In this post, we’ll go over what duct leaks are to help you make sense of your mysterious rising energy costs.
Wait, What Are Ducts Again?
If you’re not sure what your ducts are to begin with, there’s a good reason why: many homes are already equipped with a ductwork system. It may be something that you’ve taken for granted for ages.
The ducts make up the ventilation system that runs through your attic or crawlspace. They can be made of various materials, including steel and flexible insulation.
So What Are Duct Leaks?
Unfortunately, your ducts are not invincible, nor are they impervious to deterioration. The adhesives and sealants holding your ducts together can loosen over time. Flexible ductwork might develop holes or tears, either through age or through pests in your attic.
These leaks in the ducts can suck up a significant portion of your air—up to 30% of total airflow. If you’re running your heater or AC through the season, that would mean a over a quarter of your energy is being wasted. This explains why you might have gradual or sudden increases in your heating or cooling costs.
How Can I Confirm I Have Duct Leaks?
Of course, just because your energy bill is higher than usual does not guarantee a duct leak. Almost all repair issues in your HVAC unit can result in higher-than-usual energy bills. If you suspect a duct leak, you’ll need to confirm it:
- Feel the airflow coming from the vents in all the rooms. Is it significantly diminished in some of the vents?
- Are all the rooms in the home being heated or cooled at the same rate? A room that stubbornly refuses to change temperature could be located on the other side of a leak.
- How’s your air quality? Duct leaks will pull air out, but they’ll also bring dirty air from the attic or crawlspace into the duct system. That can result in dirty or contaminated air circulating in your airspace.
What’s the Solution?
The best way to handle all the leaks is with duct testing and sealing. An indoor air quality expert in Winder, GA will have the tools to test the air pressure through the ducts. This will help confirm the presence of leaks. From there, they’ll be able to use other tools to track down each leak and apply the correct sealing method.
Do you suspect a duct leak in your home? We can help find out for sure. Contact American Comfort Heating and Cooling. Bringing Comfort to America, One Home at a Time.