Air duct leaks make it hard for your blower fan to push cool air throughout your home efficiently and allow unfiltered outside air. As a result, they increase pollen, dust mites, animal droppings, smoke chemicals and vehicle exhaust fumes into your ductwork and increase contaminant presence.
For expert assistance in Greenland, consider the professionals at Anderson Air.
Professional HVAC technicians know exactly how to identify and address air duct leakage problems, with six of the most prevalent causes being:
1. Poorly installed ductwork
Professional installation should be utilized, as improper duct installation can lead to leakage due to improper sizing, crushed sections, loose connections, and gaps in its construction.
Leakage from leaky ducts forces your air conditioning unit to work harder to cool the house, leading to higher energy costs than anticipated.
Leaky ducts can introduce dirt, dust and pollutants into your air conditioning system and thus contribute to faster air filter clog-up and musty smells throughout your home – potentially leading to poor health issues. You can detect leaks by turning on your AC and using incense or colored smoke to track airflow around areas with leaks in your ductwork that has air leaks.
2. Poorly fitting connections
A duct leak occurs when a quick-connect fitting is tightened too tightly or the tubing isn’t inserted correctly. When tubing doesn’t push in far enough to create an O-ring seal and form an effective seal around its collet, water bypasses this collet and leaks through.
Over-tightening the tubing’s valve can cause it to deform, leading to loose-fitting tubing and possibly leaks.
Duct leaks can become the source of pest infestation and air contamination in your home. They may also force your HVAC system to run longer than necessary, increasing repair bills and shortening its lifespan.
3. Loose connections
Loose connections between duct sections often cause reduced airflow. For optimal airflow, seal these connections using mastic tape or metal tape to prevent leaks. Over time, however, gravity and age may lead to their seal breaking apart, further decreasing home airflow.
Loose connections at air registers may allow conditioned air to leak out before reaching its target location, increasing energy bills and shortening lifespan. Leakage in ducts may also let in dust from crawl spaces into your home and impact indoor air quality negatively – this could be especially problematic for anyone in your household with allergies or asthma.
4. Damaged ductwork
Over time, ductwork may become damaged from normal wear and tear or be compromised by rodents and other pests that chew through it to cause leakage issues.
If you suspect damage to your ductwork, check the attic or basement where your ducts are situated for signs of denting, holes or rusting, hissing sounds, and/or mildew odor.
If a specific area of your house is more difficult to cool than other parts, this could be caused by leaky ductwork. A specialized tool can test for temperature differentials between rooms to identify issues in ductwork; once identified, professionals can repair and seal these ducts to solve this issue.
Damaged ductwork will render you unable to cool or heat your home effectively. Leaky ducts may draw dirt from attics or crawl spaces and circulate it throughout your home, negatively impacting air quality.
Test for duct leaks by running your hand along the ductwork while the system is active, feeling for cold air that may have leaked in against your hand if there is a leakage.
5. Old ductwork
Even with the best ducts, age and gravity can eventually cause their seals to loosen or break completely, leading to air escaping and leading to other problems.
These issues include high energy bills, uneven heating and cooling temperatures, ineffective ductwork distribution of conditioned air throughout your home, and dust build-ups that interfere with resident health.
6. Poorly insulated ductwork
Leakage in your ductwork causes your air conditioning system to work overtime to compensate for lost conditioned air, increasing its likelihood of breakdowns and wear and tear, potentially increasing costs and the chance for breakdowns and repairs.
Uneven airflow also contributes to uneven temperatures around the home, with certain rooms becoming warmer or cooler than others. Dust build-up within ductwork restricts airflow and decreases indoor air quality.
To detect duct leaks, run your hand along each junction. If the ductwork feels cold to the touch, it could indicate an air leak along its path. A tool that releases smoke may also help identify leaks; however, contact an HVAC specialist for the best results, as they can implement a permanent solution.