When your air ducts leak, it might seem like it’s not that big of a deal. Afterall, the air just leaks into your home, which was where it was going to end up anyway, right? No. Leaking air ducts can reduce your system’s efficiency by up to 20%, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). That is a huge chunk of your utility bill. Duct sealing can help, but how and does that mean it is worth the cost?
How Duct Sealing Makes Your Home More Efficient
What happens when air spills out of your ducts early? It doesn’t get where it is supposed to go. Those vents which are past the leak have less of your conditioned air. Those vents that are furthest may have almost none, meaning the rooms they are supposed to heat or cool never quite reach the temperature you want them to. When your home is not the right, consistent temperature it should be, the thermostat demands more from either your furnace and your air conditioner, and it takes more effort from those units to change the temperature in your home. The result is wasted energy.
Duct sealing stops your ducts from leaking, ensuring that the air that is supposed to get to each vent actually gets there. The result is that your home is cooled or heated consistently, which makes your HVAC units more effective. They don’t need to work as hard to deliver the temperature that you set your thermostat to. This can be a 20% increase in efficiency, which results in a lower utility bill for you.
The Benefits of Duct Sealing
When you seal your ducts, you benefit from the improved efficiency of your HVAC system, but you also receive other benefits, including:
- Eliminate cold and hot spots: Significant duct leaks make some rooms too cold or some rooms too hot. Sealing them up should resolve these issues and make each space more consistent.
- Improve air quality: Even when your ducts are clean, the system still collects some dust and moves it around. When there are leaks in the duct, these are additional spots for dust and debris to get in, and then pour out in other spots. Sealing your ducts can improve your air quality (although cleaning them can make a big difference too).
Is Duct Sealing Worth the Cost?
In general, if you have duct leaks, then duct sealing can pay for itself in relatively short order. You do need to know a few things in order to assess whether this will be true for you, including:
- Do you have major leaks: If you don’t have major duct leaks, then sealing them will not improve your home’s energy efficiency very much. You may not recoup the cost for a long time. But with major leaks, the math is much more favorable.
- Are the other benefits worth it: Eliminating cold or hot spots or improving the quality of your home’s air might be worth it for you, even if you’re not sure if the duct sealing will pay for itself in a reasonable timeline for you.
Talking to a reputable HVAC technician will help you decide if duct sealing is worthwhile for you.