Preventing Air Leaks Can Increase Comfort & Save You Money on Utility Bills

Technical maintenance checking of ventilation air flow in the room.

Heating and cooling your home through HVAC systems are necessary to keep your family comfortable regardless of the season. However, HVAC systems may suffer some wear and tear, resulting in air leaks in air ducts and pipes. These leaks can significantly lower the efficiency of your HVAC systems and increase your energy bills.

Fortunately, there are ways to seal your HVAC leaks that can make your home more energy-efficient, comfortable, and cost-effective. At Aire Serv of Harris, we work with HVAC systems daily. Our team understands these systems inside and out and relies on cutting-edge tools and years of expertise to quickly detect and fix air leaks. Today, we’ll discuss how to spot HVAC leaks in air ducts and pipes and seal them efficiently.

Testing for Leaks

Not only can leaks make your home uncomfortable, but they can also increase your energy bills and wear down your HVAC system. The good news is that sealing HVAC leaks is a simple and effective solution to these problems. In this blog post, we'll share some tips and tricks for sealing HVAC leaks and improving the efficiency of your home.

Visual Inspection

The first step in sealing HVAC leaks is to find them via a visual inspection. The easiest way to do this is to check the air ducts in your attic, basement, or crawl spaces. You can use a flashlight to look for visible damage, cracks, or holes. You can also check the insulation, which can wear out over time and cause leaks. Once you've identified the leaks, mark them with a piece of tape to seal them later.

Don’t forget to check all the visible duct joints for visible gaps, holes, or poor connections between pieces. Inspect insulation for damage or loose seams. Make sure all registers and vents are tight to their respective openings. If you see any damaged areas, repair them with appropriate sealing tape or caulk. This basic step can prevent the most common leaks and improve your system's efficiency by 20%.

Smoke Test

If you cannot find any visible leaks in your HVAC system, a smoke test can help track down the source of the problem. During this test, a machine releases smoke into your HVAC system, and if there's a leak, the smoke will escape and appear from the source. This test provides an accurate diagnosis of leaks that are hidden from view and helps identify problems in hard-to-reach areas.

Duct Pressure Test

A duct pressure test is a more comprehensive way to identify leaks in your HVAC system. A qualified technician, including the specialists at Aire Serv of& Harris can measure your duct system's pressure and compare it to standard values during this test. Any pressure differences indicate that leaks are present. This test will also provide a complete assessment of your system, identifying even small leaks to avoid future air seepage.

Thermal Imaging

Thermal imaging is another useful method to test for HVAC leaks. During this test, cameras detect the infrared heat energy that leaks from your HVAC system. This test can identify large leaks in your duct system before they cause significant inefficiencies or damage. It's a quick and non-invasive way to locate air leaks, making it a cost-effective method of detecting hidden HVAC problems.

Blower Door Test

A blower door test involves closing all windows and doors in your home and blowing air out of the sealed envelope so that it's under negative pressure. With the home under negative pressure, the technician can use various rooftop fans of different sizes to measure the amount of leakage in the system. This test measures the home's entire envelope so leaks can be identified in any part of the home.

How to Prevent Leaks

Seal the Ducts

Sealing ducts can be done using mastic sealant or aluminum foil tape. Mastic sealant is a gooey substance that you can apply to the seams and joints of your air ducts. It dries quickly and can provide a long-term solution for leaks. On the other hand, aluminum foil tape is more affordable and easy to apply. You can use it to cover small holes and cracks in your air ducts. Don't use duct tape, as it doesn't hold up to high temperatures and can deteriorate over time.

Insulate the Ducts

Insulation can prevent air leaks by keeping your ducts cool in the summer and warm in the winter. You can use blown-in insulation to fill any gaps and spaces in your ducts. This type of insulation can be applied using a machine that can blow it into your air ducts and pipes. For a DIY option, you can use rigid insulation boards to cover the ductwork.

Install a Sealed Return Air Duct

Return air ducts are responsible for bringing air back into your HVAC system. They can also be a source of air leaks if they're not sealed properly. You can install a sealed return air duct, which is a metal box that can hold a filter and keep the air ducts clean. This box is also sealed, preventing air leaks from entering your home.

Insulate Your Pipes

Another source of HVAC leaks is pipes that aren't insulated. These pipes can lose heat as hot water runs through them, which can increase your energy bills and reduce the efficiency of your HVAC system. Wrap the pipes in insulation to seal these leaks to keep the heat inside. This will prevent leaks and help your HVAC system work more efficiently.

Hire a Professional

Sealing your HVAC leaks can be a complex DIY project. As a result, it's always better to hire a professional to ensure the job is done correctly and efficiently. Aire Serv of& Harris& has the tools and techniques to inspect your HVAC system and determine where the leaks are coming from, saving you time and money. We can also recommend duct-sealing materials and strategies to keep your system well-maintained all year.

Don't delay sealing your HVAC leaks. Hire a pro to inspect your air ducts and pipes today and enjoy the benefits of a well-sealed HVAC system! Call& anytime!