Because the ducts are usually hidden in walls, ceilings, roofs and basements,repairing them can be difficult. But there are things that you can do to improve duct performance in your house.
Start by sealing leaks using mastic sealant or metal (foil) tape and insulating all the ducts that you can access such as those in the attic, crawlspace,basement, or garage. Never apply ‘duct tape‘ because it has not lasted a long time and connections in ventilation pipes and recorders are well-sealed where they meet the floors, walls, and ceiling. These are common locations to find leaks and disconnected ductwork.
“Seal Your Heating and Cooling Ducts”
Working with a Contractor
Many homeowners choose to hire a professional contractor for duct improvement projects. Most heating and cooling contractors also repair ductwork. Look for a contractor who will:
Inspect the whole duct system,including the attic, basement,and crawlspace (if you have these).
Evaluate the system’s supply and return air balance. Many systems have air return ducts that are too small.
Repair or replace damaged,disconnected, or undersized ducts and straighten out flexible ducts that are tangled or crushed.
Seal leaks and connections with mastic, metal tape, or an aerosolbased sealant.
Seal gaps behind registers and grills where the duct meets the floor, wall, or ceiling.
Insulate ducts in unconditioned areas with insulation that carries an R-value of 6 or higher.
“COMMON DUCT PROBLEMS”
Include a new filter as part of any duct system improvement.
Use diagnostic tools to evaluate air flow after repairs are completed.
Ensure there is no back drafting of gas or oil-burning appliances, and conduct a combustion safety test after ducts are sealed
Outside of your house are exterior walls, ceilings, windows and the floor is called “envelope” or “shell” As a knowledgeable homeowner or with the help of a skilled contractor, you can save up to
20 percent on heating and cooling costs (or up to 10 percent on your total annual energy bill) by sealing and insulating your home envelope. Itwill also make your home more comfortable and help your heating and cooling system run more efficiently.
To improve your home’s envelope, you can make these changes yourself:
If your attic is accessible and you like home improvement projects, you can Do-ItYourself with help from EPA’s DIY Guide to
Sealing and Insulating with ENERGY STAR.
The Guide offers step-by-step instructions for sealing common air leaks and adding insulation to the attic to block heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer.
You can also hire a contractor who will use special diagnostic tools to pinpoint and seal the hidden air leaks in your home. A Home
Energy Rater can help you find contractors that offer air sealing services in your area.
“Hidden Air Leaks”
Be sure to look for and seal air leaks before you install insulation because it gives the best rating if you do not move around or around the air.
Many air leaks and drafts are easy to find because they are easy to feel—like those around windows and doors. But holes hidden in attics,basements, and crawlspaces are usually bigger problems. Sealing these leaks with caulk, spray foam, or weather stripping will have a great impact on improving your comfort and reducing utility bills.