Duct restoration is often best in homes with ducts that are at least ten years old. For systems that are in the five to eight-year age range, duct sealing may be best. A professional in AC repair and duct services can advise you.
Say your ductwork is six years old. You’ve noticed the vents aren’t blowing out cold air as much as they used to. You might notice a lot of insects or rodents are getting into your vents. That can be a sign that your ducts have gaps and holes that need sealing. It’s time to call in a professional.
Isn’t Duct Sealing a DIY Project?
Duct sealing is a possible DIY project, but that doesn’t mean it’s best done by the homeowner. You need to have the right equipment and knowledge. You have to think about the issues that can arise if you seal your ducts incorrectly.
When you seal a duct system, the gaps where some air was escaping are not sealed off. This can increase static pressure within the system. It could increase substantially. In some cases, this won’t matter, but it can also be detrimental if the system that was initially installed was improperly sized.
Here’s the scary part. EnergyStar.gov found that 50% of the systems they tested had low airflow, and upwards of 15% had high airflow. An average of 80% of systems were affected by issues going back to errors during installation. The chances of your ductwork being improperly sized are high, especially in homes built before state or local codes started requiring testing for duct sealing and tightness.
Why does an undersized or oversized system matter? Static pressure is always a concern, but what is static pressure? It’s a measurement of the pressure in the ducts, and it’s measured using water. It measures the resistance to airflow within the ducts when the HVAC system runs. If the air isn’t flowing or pushing at a stronger pressure than the air already in that duct, air can’t circulate.
When the air isn’t circulating effectively, the system works harder to move it. The fans may work harder, leading to equipment failure. Some areas of the home may not cool effectively, and humidity could build up and cause issues with mold and mildew. Your compressor may work harder, and you may find the evaporator coils freezing up as the system runs longer than it should.
Circle back to making duct sealing your DIY project this weekend. Do you have the knowledge and equipment to test the static pressure? Are you certain that your system was installed to current codes? How much of a strain would you be putting on all of the components of your AC system?
If you’re uncertain and seal the ducts anyway, you could damage your AC system, requiring some or all of the system to be replaced. It’s also possible that you’ll create new problems within your home. These will need to be remedied to prevent bigger issues. You end up spending a lot more money than you would have if you’d relied on a professional duct sealer from the beginning.
What Happens During the Duct Sealing Process?
You have duct restoration that restores the interior of the ducts to a like-new state. Duct sealing works on the outside of the ducts to seal up gaps, holes, and other issues that allow air to leak. When ducts leak, the loss of air can drive up bills and energy efficiency by as much as 20%. Seal the ducts and you save money on your utility bills and reduce strain on your HVAC equipment.
How does a duct sealing appointment go? It should start by having a qualified HVAC professional inspect the ducts in your home. The professional is checking for holes, gaps, cracks, and other obvious issues. Next, the areas around vents and registers are checked to make sure they are properly sealed. The system’s static pressure is tested to ensure it meets requirements.
Where there are gaps, mastic, metal tape, or a sealant is used. Areas that are not air-conditioned, such as an attic, basement, or crawlspace are insulated with duct insulation. Airflow is tested again. Plus, the contractor needs to check for back-drafting and conduct a conduction safety test
What To Do Before Your Appointment
Once you schedule your duct sealing with a qualified duct contractor, keep track of the appointment. The day before, make sure the vents and registers are clear. If you have furnishings in front of them or close to the sides, temporarily move them to give the contractor room to work. Make sure the duct is not blocked by boxes in the attic, basement, or crawlspace.
Make sure someone is there to let the contractor in. Even if something arises and you can’t be there, get a friend or neighbor to stay at your house until the duct sealing appointment is over.
If you have pets, keep them secured to a room. Even if your pets are friendly, they may be curious and try to get into the opened vents. You don’t want that happening. Plus, noises from vacuums and other tools may frighten them. Keeping them confined and away from the noise helps reduce their stress.
Duct sealing is a great way to lower bills, expand the lifespan of your AC equipment, ensure your system is operating safely, and improve the quality of your indoor air. All Year Cooling is happy to help you address leaky ducts. Reach us by phone or email to learn more about duct sealing, cleaning, and restoration services.