Something Duct Tape Isn’t Good For

Before you go and grab the most versatile tool in any home owner’s tool box (and no it is not the sledge hammer—although there are times I would find it very satisfying to take one to my computer.) We need to get more in depth on how to identify duct leakage. Only then can we identify the Comfort Solution needed.

I am going to concentrate on ductwork in attics and crawl spaces, as I have eluded to before, oftentimes this ductwork is reachable for you the homeowner, but this applies to all ductwork. With any home project, you should keep your personal safety at the top of list. Please wear protective clothing, masks and eye protection.

Inspect the Duct Insulation. Do you see holes, or exposed insulation? When looking at exposed insulation, is it discolored? If so, this indicates air leaks. Usually it looks grayish or black, and oftentimes, homeowners think this is mold. It could very well contain mold, but usually this discoloration is a result of air leaks. (This is also a good time to take a look around your attic and crawl space at the whole house insulation, you may see areas of discoloration here as well you may want to take note of.)

Where does this air leakage usually occur…at areas where the ducts are connect to each other, to boxes or other fittings. This can be at your registers inside the house as well. Do you see spaces and gaps, even between the register boot and drywall? You also want to take a look at your unit and filter, gaps need to be properly addressed. These are easily identifiable air leaks that can be remedied.

So, now that you know you have air leaks. What is the Comfort Solution to Comfort Delivery Problem #1 (Reference blog: http://www.comfortandefficiency.com/2011/07/drum-roll-please.html?) Permanently seal holes or gaps in ductwork with specially designed sealants. NO DUCT TAPE here, so leave that tool in your tool box. This repair also often involves reconnecting ductwork that has become disconnected, or sealing building cavities being used as part of your duct system. Sometimes the best solution is to install new airtight ductwork (this one will be revisited in Comfort Delivery Problem #2.)

For us, we actually utilize specialized equipment that can quickly test for air leaks in the duct system, and estimate the annual efficiency loss from the duct leakage. And as we apply our solutions, we are always able to verify work quality by re-testing for air leakage before leaving. (You should get what you pay for!)

If would like to tackle this repair yourself, you should know there are extensive resources on the internet regarding duct sealing and duct insulating, some better than others, so please do not hesitate to contact us for guidance. As mentioned earlier, there will be more discussion about this Comfort Solution that you need to be aware of before initiating this repair. We can be contacted here.

Comments are closed.