Because of our geographical location, Cincinnati has hot, humid summers and cold, snowy winters. This means our HVAC systems work pretty much year-round, so anything that helps them run more efficiently is doubly beneficial. Checking and sealing ductwork can be a DIY project that can result in substantial utility savings for handy homeowners.
What Ducts Do
Homes with a furnace and/or central HVAC system use a network of ducts to move treated air to your living space from the equipment which heats or cools it. Almost always, both the furnace and the A/C use the same air handler, often called a blower, to move the treated air through the ducts.
Why Check the Ductwork?
The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Energy Star program estimates that the typical forced air system loses approximately 20 percent of its treated air. It escapes through holes in the ducts and at unsound connection points. That translates directly into an increase in your utility bills, simply to enjoy the same level of comfort you’d get if the ducts didn’t leak. It may well be that your equipment never manages to create your ideal environment, no matter how hard it works.
DIY Duct Sealing
Here are the basic jobs you need to do:
- Visually check all ductwork that’s exposed in your loft, crawl spaces and garage and look for leak points. Pay particular attention to long, unsupported runs and to flattened areas, as ductwork is easy to accidentally crush. Joints are also failure points, so check behind all registers, and where separate runs of duct join one another.
- Use mastic sealant or metal tape to close all the leaks you find. Don’t use duct tape. It’s notorious for failing quickly.
- Insulate the installation once it’s been made sound.
Duct sealing is a rewarding job for any competent DIYer, but evaluating the installation is a job for the pros. Contact Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing for all of your HVAC and home comfort needs.
Image via Shutterstock.com
"Ernie & Mike did a superb job on my new furnace and A/C installation. Despite having more than a day’s work to do, they came in and stayed until the job was done. They were organized, efficient, and protected the rest of the house well. Got both furnace and A/C installed the same day. Ernie was courteous, informative, and clearly knew his job better than anyone I’ve encountered before. The units look so good guests now get The Tour of our new system. Apollo is clearly not a fly-by-night company. I would recommend them to anyone in need of a new furnace and/or A/C."
- Jerry A.
"I called Apollo because of a water leak I thought I had in our upstairs shower going into the kitchen. Robbie came and assured me everything was fine & looked at all the other plumbing. He ended up changing a few pipes for our washer & clearing a drain. He was very nice & knowledgeable with all my questions. I ended up signing up for the care plan & was very happy with my service."
- Cassandra B.
"The team at Apollo exceeded my expectations. As a business owner, my attention to the details and commitment to providing excellent service is high. From the sales rep. to the installation team, everyone’s performance was outstanding. For example, the installation team went to great lengths to protect our floors, placing floor runners and across the wood floors and up the stairs. They even were spot washing walls upon their departure. I highly recommend this company."
- Randy B.
"We scheduled an estimate AND a tune-up. We knew something was wrong with our furnace, but hoped we could make it through the rest of the season. Upon telling Bill what our furnace was doing, he warned us immediately what the possible outcome was going to be; a cracked heat exchanger. He watched the flames roll backward, tested carbon monoxide levels, which were so high they meter’s last reading was 5,600 before saying “high”. He immediately shut it down, tagged it, and explained that with levels that high and children in our home he wanted off right away. He continued his inspection and showed us via a camera that not only was it cracked in multiple places, but had holes all over it. He gave us a few options for repairing it; his knowledge as well as genuine concern was beneficial and refreshing. Luckily we also scheduled an estimator, Micah, to come too and we were able to get costs between repairing and replacing (with several options). We decided to replace with a much higher efficiency furnace and one sized properly to our home. Hands down, not only did they both provide us great service and knowledge, but without sounding dramatic, they may have saved our lives. This was our first time calling Apollo, but it won’t be our last."
- Sarah B.
"Apollo is an excellent company. I always receive great service. Alex A. was professional and friendly. He kept me informed during the process of checking my furnace and heat pump to make sure they were working properly. The company makes sure you are notified who is coming and when they are on the way. All my interactions with the company have been wonderful."
- Beverly S.