Does My Ductwork Need to be Sealed?

Woman on tablet in cold home

Is there a room in your house that never feels comfortable?

Are you summer and winter energy bills unusually high?

Does it feel like there isn’t enough air coming out of your vents?

These are all signs that your home has leaky ductwork. And this isn’t something to take lightly. Your air ducts are a crucial part of your home, and if they’re badly sealed, you’re probably losing money and receiving insufficient heating and cooling.

Signs you have leaky ducts

Some common indications that your ductwork is leaking include:

  • Some rooms are warmer or cooler than others even when your HVAC is running
  • Higher than usual energy bills
  • Rooms that become dusty when your HVAC system is going
  • You can see tape or sealant that has begun to peel or come loose
  • Your ductwork is crushed, kinked or tangled

“Sealing your ducts to prevent leaks is even more important if the ducts are located in an unconditioned area such as an attic or vented crawlspace,” the U.S. Department of Energy says on its website. “If the supply ducts are leaking, heated or cooled air can be forced out of unsealed joints and lost. In addition, unconditioned air can be drawn into return ducts through unsealed joints.”

The Department of Energy says that homeowners should trust qualified heating and air conditioning repair technicians to seal and insulate air ducts in unconditioned spaces to guarantee the use of proper sealing materials.

However, they do offer some tips for making minor duct repairs:

  • Ductwork sealantCheck for leaks by looking for sections of ductwork that have separated as well as obvious holes in the ducts.
  • Avoid using cloth-backed, rubber adhesive duct tape to seal your ducts, as it tends to fail soon after installation. Your best bet is mastic, butyl tape, foil tape or any heat-approved tape, especially a tape with the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) logo.
  • A better solution may be to use duct mastic, a sealant which is more durable than tape and typically easier for DIY projects.
  • Putting insulation in the ducts in your basement will make that space colder. If you’re going to insulate your basement ducts, consider insulating your basement as well. Water pipes in these spaces can freeze and burst if left uninsulated.
  • In addition to sealing your ducts, you can improve efficiency by making sure there’s no furniture or other objects blocking your vents.
  • But once again, any major changes and repairs to your ductwork is best left to heating and air conditioning professionals.

The benefits of sealing your ductwork include:

  • Comfortable homeCost savings – Leaks in your ductwork can reduce the efficiency of your HVAC system by up to 20 percent. When you seal your ducts, you’ll bring that efficiency back up which will lower your heating and cooling bill.
  • Improved air quality – Sealing your ducts can improve the quality of the air inside your home by keeping out things like dust and other allergens.
  • A more comfortable home – When you seal your ductwork, you’ll eliminate the problem of rooms that feel too cold in the winter or too warm in the summer.

Is your furnace ductwork not doing its job? All Seasons Comfort Control can help. We offer preventative maintenance agreements to our residential customers, meaning our heating and air conditioning technicians can examine your ducts as part of a larger HVAC inspection.

There’s no reason you should have to suffer through a too-cold winter or too-hot summer thanks to ineffective ductwork. Contact us today to learn more about our maintenance plans.