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What Is Duct Sealing? A Brief Guide

July 23, 2021

Duct Sealing

There’s nothing quite like the magic of clicking on the thermostat and feeling cool or warm air instantly flow from the ducts in your home. Modern climate control has revolutionized the idea of being comfortable in your own home and business.

Modern HVAC systems need regular maintenance to keep the air quality consistent. Even small, pinhole leaks in the ductwork can silently cause big problems. Moisture can leak into the ducts, causing mold to grow and affecting indoor air quality and the overall health of your home’s occupants.

A full inspection and proper duct sealing can plug the holes that could lead to illness and a compromised HVAC system. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about duct sealing.

Do You Need Duct Sealing?

Forced-air cooling and heating systems use ducts to disburse treated air throughout a building. In most buildings, though, compromised ductwork leads to a 20 to 30 percent air loss throughout the duct system.

As a result, HVAC systems work harder to pump conditioned air throughout the building, energy bills go up unnecessarily, and HVAC systems wear out faster than they’re supposed to.

Plus, your home just does not feel comfortable no matter how low you set your thermostat.

There are a few telltale signs that your ducts are leaking:

  • High utility bills in both the summer and winter
  • Rooms that do not maintain a consistent temperature
  • Stuffy rooms
  • Ducts are in the crawlspace, garage, or attic
  • Kinked or tangled flexible ducts

If ducts are hard to reach places, they could be severely compromised without you even knowing it. The hassle of finding and repairing the ducts may tempt you to leave things as they are. Keep in mind, though, that you’re wasting money every month.

Experts claim that when ducts leak, they send cold and warm air into areas that are unheated. You end up spending hundreds of dollars a year more than you need to on your energy bill because of this lost air.

Sealing your ducts will change your energy bill and your energy consumption.

What is Duct Seal?

If you suspect a leak, begin by closely inspecting your HVAC system. Look for moving particles in and around the ductwork. Examine where the ducts connect to other parts of the home, as this is where the leaks most often occur.

Look for mouse or other rodent signs as well. Sometimes rodents can get into the ductwork and chew through flexible ducts. These breaches will be obvious.

If you perform annual duct cleaning, you will notice leaks sooner and be able to stop the problems before they grow into big hassles. You can stop the leaks with duct sealant.

If you have just a few small leaks, you may be able to seal the ducts yourself.

Duct sealant consists of a special compound that fills the cracks and gaps in your ductwork. Often the average homeowner will attempt to seal ducts using duct tape. However, duct tape does not do the efficient work that duct sealant does.

The adhesive will break, and you will end up with a bigger mess than before.

You must use quality duct sealing compounds to properly seal your ducts. You should begin with a silicone-based duct sealant applied easily with a mastic gun. This sealant will cover cracks and holes and keep moisture at bay.

When you work with silicone-based sealant, always wear gloves. You can cover the sealant with fabric mesh that makes the joint more flexible. You can also cover it with tin tape or construction-grade tape. The tape may fall off over time, but the sealant will stay.

The Contractor Solution

Sometimes the leaks are too big for the average homeowner to handle. Your ductwork is one of the more expensive and precious parts of your home. Though you can’t see it, it plays a large role in what makes your home smell and feel comfortable, so don’t hesitate to call in an HVAC professional to do this job.

Here is what your HVAC contractor will do once they arrive on the job site:

  1. Inspect the entire duct network for potential leaks and problems.
  2. Replace or repair duct sections
  3. Tighten loose duct sections
  4. Straighten out kinked and bent ducts
  5. Use a construction-grade seal and tape to plug the cracks, holes, and other breaches in the ductwork
  6. Use specialized sealant, mastic, or metal tape to seal the connections between duct sections
  7. Secure the ducts to registers and vents
  8. Test your home and the ducts for carbon monoxide leaks

As you can see, an HVAC professional will conduct a thorough inspection and repair of your ductwork. They can complete the duct seal in hard-to-reach places that you may not even know exist. Plus, they run inspections and tests that ensure your home is safe and healthy.

Compromised Ducts, Compromised Health

Having your ducts sealed by a professional will cost you. You can expect to spend between $1500 and $4,000, depending on the size of your home and the severity of the problem.

You will see savings immediately, though, in your energy bills, especially if your ducts were severely compromised. You can also hope for a much healthier home.

When ducts have leaks, they let in more dust, debris, and moisture. They provide a way for unwanted pests and rodents to enter the ductwork and leave feces. They also create an environment ripe for mold.

You and your family end up breathing in those contents when they sit in your ductwork. There’s no filter to stop them when the breaches happen in the ductwork between the filter and your vents. So bringing in an expert to clean and seal your ducts could save you doctor visits and medical bills down the road.

Seal Those Ducts

Do you have symptoms of a breach in your ductwork? Is your energy bill or high or your home uncomfortable no matter how low you set the thermostat? A thorough duct sealing could solve your problems and make your home a healthy, fresh-smelling, comfortable place once again.

If you need your ducts cleaned or sealed, contact us. We’ve been offering St. Louis HVAC full services for nearly 40 years. Our family-owned company is dedicated to serving our neighbors and friends with premium services at affordable prices.

Contact us today for your HVAC maintenance and repair.

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