With the steady increase in the price of energy, homeowners are looking for any way they can to reduce utility bills. With heating and cooling costing between 35-40 percent of energy costs for a typical home, these systems are the logical place to start saving energy. Increasing efficiency in your heating and cooling system can be as easy as sealing ductwork in the attic.

Unheated spaces such as the attic are the primary places where heating and cooling systems lose their efficiency. A leaky duct system in one of these areas can result in as much as 30 percent energy loss in the system. This means your furnace, heat pump or air conditioner will have to work longer and harder to achieve the level of comfort you’re looking for in your home. This increases the amount of electricity used, making your utility bill higher, but it also puts extra wear and tear on your heating and cooling equipment. This means they are likely to need repair or replacement sooner than otherwise.

Air duct leaks happen for several reasons. If you live in a home that was built before 1980, your ducts may never have been sealed in the first place. Energy didn’t cost much before 1980, so efficiency often wasn’t a high priority when homes were built. Ductwork was often fastened together with three screws and covered with insulation. The insulation was there to prevent moisture condensation, and that was about it.

Another major reason for poor duct efficiency and leakage common in today’s builds is that many contractors on new construction sites aren’t trained in home ventilation. They don’t correctly seal the ducts with sealant, tie bands and quality duct tape. The ducts will work properly for the initial inspection but after four or five months of consistent use, the tape will fail and the system will start to leak.

For more expert advice about ductwork in the attic and other issues related to home comfort, please contact us at Comfort Services. We’ve been serving the Wichita area since 1996.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wichita, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about ductwork in the attic and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.