Leaky Ducts and You
Though it’s a hidden element in your home, ductwork is crucial to your home comfort. It’s the system by which warm or cool air circulates throughout your home. And all your conditioned air, whether it’s warmed or cooled, has to travel through these ducts. As such, it’s essential to have a well-maintained duct system in your home.
What Is Ductwork?
At West Mechanical, we take ductwork very seriously. Our heating and cooling professionals know what an important role your home’s air ducts play in so many areas—your comfort, energy bills, and health most specifically. Here in Bellingham, we see the difference between ductwork that is well sealed and maintained and ducts that are not on a regular basis.
Your Washington home’s ductwork or air ducts are corridors through which your warmed or cooled air travels back and forth to your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system and to the vents in your home. It’s comprised of a system of ducts and pipes, typically metal, and has seams that are expertly sealed when they are first installed. Several places may also be insulated to help reduce energy loss.
Why Don’t You See Your Ducts?
Most of your ductwork is hidden behind walls or in places not as frequently used as other areas of your home are. You most likely don’t see the majority of it. Often it’s in the attic, and for most of us, ductwork can fall into the out-of-sight, out-of-mind category. But this mindset can compromise your indoor comfort, cost you money, and even affect your health.
Why Seal and Insulate Your Ductwork?
Properly sealing and insulating your ducts prevents your home’s treated air from leaking out the duct system. According to the US Department of Energy (DoE), 20 to 40 percent of energy is lost from most duct systems. Ducts are usually constructed from sheet metal or fiberglass, both thin materials. It’s easy for your circulating air to leak through these materials as well as through any duct seams.
Additionally, your duct insulation protects your ductwork from mold and mildew growth, because your home’s cool air travels through ducts located in warm areas of your house. This can cause condensation in your ducts, which encourages that mold and mildew. Insulating your ducts regulates the temperature and prevents this scenario.
Why Maintain Your Ducts?
Over time, your ductwork’s seals can deteriorate and rust, and your insulation can lose its effectiveness, both causing you problems. That’s why it’s so important to regularly have professionals inspect your duct system and address any leaks.
Poorly maintained and leaky ductwork can cause the following problems:
• An increase in your heating and cooling bills
Leaks in your ducts can occur where the ducts are joined. Leaked air is wasted air. Your furnace or air conditioner has expended energy, that you pay for, to heat or cool the air. When that air does not make it to the desired locations in your home, your HVAC unit has to work twice as hard to make up for the energy lost—it’s essentially throwing away money.
• A negative effect on your home’s indoor comfort
With energy leaking from your ductwork, your inside temperature can continuously vary and leave you without the comfort you expect. No matter what type of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system you have and how energy efficient it is, if you have leaky ducts, your system can’t provide you an efficient level of comfort and live up to its potential.
• Poor health for you
Leaks can cause undesirables from the air to leak into your duct system, meaning contaminants like exhaust, fumes, carbon monoxide, or many other pollutants can enter your duct system and circulate around your home without you knowing it. This can cause a myriad of problems including causing respiratory problems or exacerbating problems you may already have, such as asthma or allergies.
Call Us Today to Check Your Duct System
To diagnose and correct your leaky duct problem is a simple process that will greatly improve the comfort and health of your Bellingham, WA, home. Our West Mechanical technicians are experts with ductwork and its installation and maintenance. Call us at 360-734-7599 or contact us online for help with your air ducts.