If your cooling and heating bills seem abnormally high, you could have leaky ductwork. This is a problem many homeowners encounter. Undetected, ductwork leaks can drive up your energy bills in proportion to the size and amount of the leaks and degrade your indoor-air quality, sometimes severely.

Leaks can develop in a newer home, as well as in an older home. Most frequently, seams come loose when the adhesive fails. If your basement serves as a workroom, a stray nail might puncture a section. Sometimes a duct section can become crushed or even fall away from the adjoining section. Crushed, dented and disconnected duct sections are easy to spot. Other signs of ductwork problems include dust deposits on or near your registers, rooms that are uncomfortable and household odors.

Often the ductwork runs through unconditioned spaces, and when it has leaks, it can pull the dust and debris from those spaces. One of the most serious problems with ductwork leaks is in homes that use vented gas appliances, like dryers, water heaters and furnaces. The leaks can pull carbon monoxide into your home’s air or excess humidity from the basement or attic. This can lead to the development of mold in your home.

HVAC-system experts recommend having your ductwork tested for leaks. Contractors often use a blower door test, a duct blaster or a pressure pan to identify leaky ductwork.

Although you might want your HVAC-system professional do the sealing, you can tackle the job yourself, using mastic and mesh or a thermal-resistant tape. Never use regular duct tape, as the heat in will destroy the adhesive.

If you suspect you have leaky ducts, get them professionally evaluated. Contact the experts at Comfort Services. We can diagnose any problems and quickly resolve them. We’ve been providing outstanding HVAC services to Wichita homeowners 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 leaky ductwork and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.