When summer temperatures are at their peak, you’re likely to seek comfort indoors but if your home has poor insulation and ductwork, then the hot weather outside your home might impact your temperatures inside negatively. This can make your home uncomfortable and be very frustrating to you and your family. Duct sealing can address many of these issues. It’s important to know what it is, how it works, and the many benefits of having a professional take care of this for you.
What Duct Sealing Is
Duct sealing focuses on insulating metal duct units so that they are properly sealed. Your home’s ductwork carries conditioned air throughout your residence. Duct units are usually inside walls, basements, attics, and crawl spaces. They have a tremendous impact on the temperature inside your home, but they’re also influenced greatly by outdoor temperatures. When you try to heat your home in the winter, the warm air passes through metal ducts that may be cold due to the ambient outdoor temperature before it comes out of your registers and vents. Likewise, the summer heat can warm the metal ducts and raise the temperature of the conditioned air coming through to cool you. Ducts that aren’t properly sealed leave you less comfortable than you could be, and your energy bills might be higher as you try and compensate by moving the thermostat higher or lower.
How Does Duct Sealing Work?
Options may vary depending on your local service provider, but there are generally two primary choices that you can pick from. Your technician might recommend a spray foam or a sealant. Each has a different way of working.
Spray foam is a very popular choice across the industry for several benefits. First of all, it’s not toxic. Second, it usually is quick to apply. Your ductwork professional will inspect all the vents in your home before hooking up their seal installation machine. Once it’s active, it will pump out atomized polymaterial into your home’s vents that will seal up even microscopic gaps in your vents.
Another common choice is a sealant. It’s usually a gooey material that doesn’t actually harden. Like spray foam, it’s not toxic. It’s also typically flame-resistant. This can be applied using a putty knife or a caulking gun, and it can last as many as 20 years.
Is Duct Sealing Necessary for Your Home?
HVAC systems that use a forced-air method rely on ducts to move conditioned air throughout your home. However, if your ductwork is compromised, then you might lose 20% to 30% of the air that moves through the ducts. Consequently, your heating and air system would have to work even harder to keep up with the demands you place on it. Your utility bills go up, and your system components will wear down faster than they otherwise should.
A ductwork professional is who can tell you specifically if you have issues and help fix them. However, there are some warning signs that might tell you that your home has leaky ducts. Utility bills that are higher than expected during seasons of heavy use may be one indicator that you should consider calling someone to have your ducts looked at. If you have rooms that are stuffy or don’t stay at a consistent temperature and rapidly shift throughout the day, then that can also be a point of concern. Ducts that are tangled, flexible, or kinked probably need an inspection. Ducts in places not easy to access, such as your attic, garage, or crawl space, might have problems that you don’t know about, so having them periodically inspected would also be advisable.
The Advantages of Duct Sealing
Duct sealing has many benefits to it. The immediate one your family is likely to notice is enhanced indoor air quality. Particulates such as dirt, and dust won’t breach into your ducts via tiny gaps or leaks anymore, which can go a long way to ensuring that your indoor air stays clean.
There’s also a chance that if you were experiencing higher than normal energy bills due to leaky air duct waste, you’ll start seeing a decline in those bills. You’re also likely to save money on repairs and maintenance over time because your system should last longer before needing maintenance and/or replacement.
Sealed ducts are also safer. Your ventilation systems help to remove water vapor, heat, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and carbon monoxide that come from many different appliances. You’ll also keep your home free of pests that might have started calling your air ducts home.
In some cases, you might even protect the actual property value of your home. Poorly ventilated spaces might encourage dampness and humidity that damages or warps personal possessions, including furniture and musical instruments. Also, a damaged ductwork system might take dollars off of your home’s value if you decide to list it on the market.
Find a Contractor Qualified for the Work
You might be tempted to make duct sealing a DIY task, but this is really something best left to the professionals. There are many specific features of your ductwork that should be tended to by professionals who are properly licensed and have the proper equipment at their disposal. They also have thorough procedures and protocols that they follow to ensure that they fully address the issue at hand as well as identify other possible problems that an untrained eye may overlook to the detriment of the long-term health of the system and the comfort of your family.
When your contractor arrives, they’re likely to start by inspecting your whole duct network for possible problems and leaks. They will repair or replace sections that need it and tighten other sections that are loose. Your technician should be able to straighten out any ducts that are bent or kinked.
They can seal and tape holes, cracks, and breaches throughout the ductwork. Connections in between duct sections might be sealed with metal tape, mastic, or sealant. The contractor will also secure the ducts to vents and registers to ensure they are properly held in place.
Your contractor might surprise you by finding and accessing ductwork in corners of your home that you might have forgotten about or just didn’t think to look at. Every leak or problem in ductwork has to be addressed for full and proper sealing to take place; otherwise, you’re still going to have issues moving forward as your issue is not fully resolved.
Get Your Ducts Sealed
If you have an uncomfortable home, high energy bills, or breach symptoms in your current ductwork, then you might need duct sealing. That can solve quite a few problems and return your home to a healthy and comfortable state. If you live in Tigard, OR or the surrounding areas, then contact us at Specialty Heating & Cooling LLC for help. We handle heating, cooling, indoor air quality, generators, water heaters, and ductless systems. Call us at Specialty Heating & Cooling LLC right away for any of these services.