When trying to get their climate control systems ready for winter, a lot of homeowners will focus on the main body of the system itself. While you certainly should have a professional look over the main part of your heating system before the winter arrives, that’s not the only part you need to worry about.
The condition of your ducts can actually have a significant effect on the efficiency of your heating system, assuming you’re using a centralized ducted system. Have a look at how leaky ducts can ruin your system efficiency, and what you can do to prevent it.
Ducts are very prone to leaking, especially if they’ve been around for a while. Though these leaks are often small, they tend to add up very quickly. Older ducts can have massive gaps in them, especially at the junctions where multiple sections of the ductwork meet. This can form just from years of expanding and contracting with the temperature of the air in the ducts. The US Department of Energy has found that the average centralized forced air system loses up to 30% of its output during operation. That’s nearly a third of the total amount of heat the system generates going to waste, which you are still paying for. That’s why it’s so important to remedy duct leaks whenever you find them.
Before the ducts can be repaired or replaced, they need to be tested to locate the leaks themselves. This is often done by pressurizing the ducts, then using something like a smoke pencil to locate the leaks themselves. This can only be done by a professional, and should be conducted at least once every couple of years. This helps to catch any new duct leaks that may form, even if the ducts have been previously patched.
Once any leaks in the ductwork have been located, they need to be dealt with. Smaller leaks can often be sealed without needing to replace any large part of the ducts. In some cases, though, the leaks are just too large or numerous to seal effectively. In those cases, you’re going to need to replace a part of the ducts. As is the case with testing and sealing, you’re going to need a professional to do this for you. Duct replacement very rarely involves replacing the entirety of the ductwork. Instead, the affected ductwork section is removed and replaced with a new section.
Duct replacement may seem extreme, but if your technician is recommending it to you, it is very likely necessary. Continuing to use leaky ducts, instead of replacing them with ones that work, is just signing up to waste more money on a more uncomfortable heating experience. Better to have the ducts replaced and not have to worry about them again for a couple of years.
Comfort Zone Heating & Cooling provides comprehensive duct services throughout Marietta, GA. If you have any need for duct services, we can help. Contact us today for an appointment.