Air ducts are a very important part of your house. Many homeowners are under the impression that duct maintenance starts and ends at cleaning. However, air ducts are far more complex and require sealing to remain an effective air passage system. Duct sealing is the process of restricting the gaps and cracks in your duct which account for air and energy loss. Sealing off these gaps reduces the amount of work your HVAC units have to do, increasing energy efficiency as a result.
How Can Air Duct Sealing Influence Energy Efficiency?
New ducts are designed with energy efficiency in mind. However, ducts in old houses tend to have gaps, cracks, and orifices that allow air to escape. Air transfer also means heat transfer, forcing your heating and cooling units to work overtime. In turn, this raises your energy bills and reduces the lifespan of your HVAC system. Air duct sealing covers these gaps and prevents any heat loss through your ducts.
Increase Air Quality and Prevent Moisture Absorption From the Ground
Besides hindering your energy efficiency, leaks in your duct can also account for damages to your house. The air loss through your ducts must be replaced, so air is drawn up from the crawl space and other gaps into your house. The air drawn through these gaps often carry moisture and mold spores; if the conditions are right, this can develop into a severe mold problem. It can also attract pests such as rodents, cockroaches, and termites, which can cause thousands of dollars worth of property damage.
Checking Your Ducts for Air Leaks
Your ducts can develop gaps and cracks over time, so you need to inspect them to identify if there are any air leaks. In order to find air leaks in your ducts, you will need to go into your attic. Once in your attic make sure to walk on the joists, or lay down plywood so you can walk safely over the joists. You may have to move insulation away from your ducts, but be careful not to damage it. Find the duct joints and hold your hand close to the place where the ducts connect; with big leaks, you will usually be able to feel the air on your hand.
Smaller, hidden leaks are responsible for a huge chunk of energy loss and are significantly harder to find. In these cases, your best bet is to hire a professional air duct sealing service provider. For instance, at Clean Crawls we provide air duct sealing services for homes and businesses in the Puget Sound area, and help our clients reduce energy costs and increase comfort levels in their homes.
Energy Efficiency and Other Benefits of Air Duct Sealing and Cleaning
Air duct sealing and cleaning will help you cut utility bills by increasing the amount of energy required to heat or cool your home. In addition, air duct sealing also helps increase indoor air quality, considerably reduces your carbon footprint, and increases comfort around your house.
Increasing Energy Efficiency
Air duct sealing prevents heat loss, and duct cleaning reduces the amount of work carried out by your heating and cooling units. As a result, you will notice a considerable drop in utility bills. An estimated 54% of your energy consumption is dedicated to cooling and heating your home, so sealing off your air leaks in your ducts will pay for itself within a few months.
Air leaks don’t only allow heat to escape, but they also allow outside air to enter your home. This air can be filled with chemicals, fumes, pollution, and insulation particles that cause allergic reactions and respiratory complications, especially in younger members of your household. Air duct sealing helps improve your air quality, reducing the amount of toxins present in your house, and creating a healthy living environment.
Reduces Carbon Footprint
Buildings are the biggest source of greenhouse gasses, so lowering the amount of energy your house requires will significantly decrease your carbon footprint and gas emission. The materials used for air duct sealing are also designed to last indefinitely, reducing the amount of repairs and materials used in your house.
Increases Overall Comfort
Leaks in your air ducts can result in cold floors, cold walls, allergens, toxins, and noticeable temperature differences in your home. All these can cause discomfort, from cold days in winter and hot days during summer, to eye and throat irritation. Air duct sealing will help you establish a healthy, comfortable environment for you and your family.
Other Causes of High Energy Bills
Experiencing high utility bills is always an unpleasant situation, and there are many reasons beyond your ducts that can affect your home’s energy efficiency. Here are some other factors that can decrease your home’s energy efficiency, and what you can do to solve them:
- Poor Insulation in Attic and Crawl Space: Having no or damaged insulation in your crawl space and attic results in major heat loss. This causes high energy consumption and reduces the lifespan of your HVAC units.
- No Vapor Barrier Installed in Crawl Space or Attic: If you don’t have vapor barriers installed in your attic or crawl spaces, they are susceptible to moisture damage. This means rotting wood, mold development, pest infestations, and inflated utility costs.
- Pest Infestations: Pests are any homeowner’s worst nightmare. Rodents, cockroaches, termites, and ants can chew through your insulation, electrical wires, and ducts, lowering energy efficiency and costing thousands of dollars on repairs.
If you are experiencing elevated energy bills and are not sure why, it may be time to contact an air duct sealing professional. At Clean Crawls, we provide professional air duct sealing, attic insulation, and other services designed to help your house increase energy efficiency as much as possible. You can reach us by calling 206.447.9996, or you can check out our resources page for more information. Get in touch with us today!