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How to Minimize Energy Loss in Air Ducts

Everyone wants to save money on energy bills, and your air ducts could be the cause of large invoices from your energy company.

How is this possible? My air ducts could be causing an energy loss? Aren’t they mean to direct airflow to the appropriate rooms?

Yes, your air ducts are made to navigate airflow from your central HVAC system to various rooms in your home. But, your current air duct system may not be optimal for energy saving. You could be losing anywhere from 25 to 40 percent of energy in your current air duct system, averaging a 30 percent loss.

By having a loss of airflow, you might crank up your HVAC system to kick out more air. Doing so will raise your energy cost.

If only 70 percent of your airflow is reaching the appropriate rooms in your home, where is the remaining airflow going? It could be exiting the air duct system through leaks or the lost air just might not be making it to any of the rooms.

Here are some tips from a professional HVAC company to help you save money on your energy bills.

Seal Leaks

Your air duct system might have leaks. Over time, the seal can become loose or expand, which can lead to holes or patches where your air duct meets the wall. This obviously isn’t ideal and should be sealed up right away.

You can perform a visual inspection of your air ducts to source these leaks and seal them up yourself.

The best way to seal up your air duct leaks is with duct sealants like mastic, butyl tape, aluminum foil tape, or other heat-approved tapes. If you do use a sealant like mastic, it’s a very messy project so be sure to cover the ground and use old clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty.

Insulate Air Ducts

Parts of your air duct system might not be properly insulated or insulated at all. If your air ducts run through uncooled or unheated parts of your home, your HVAC could work overtime to bring the wanted temperature to your rooms.

This happens when the ambient temperature (the temperature of the surrounding environment where equipment is stored) of these parts of your home doesn’t match the rest of the home, affecting those areas with air ducts.

You can insulate the entire air duct system or those parts where the temperature differs. This requires entering the unseen area for the air ducts and insulating the ducts with metal framed foil-faced fiberglass insulation. You can try DIY or call a professional HVAC service like WM Buffington to install this insulation in the proper areas.

Reroute Air Ducts

It’s entirely possible that you might want to consider rerouting your air ducts. Air resistance is prominent in ductworks. This is known as drag; when air is opposed to friction, causing the resistance. Drag can be reduced by:

  • Smoothing out the inner surfaces of the air ducts.
  • Rounding sharp corners for easy passage.
  • Expanding the diameter of the air ducts.
  • Reduce the number of bends in the duct system to improve air velocity.

Reconstruct Air Ducts

The most expensive option would be to reconstruct the air duct system entirely, or just certain parts of it. If it’s actually your air duct system that is causing the high energy bills, a reconstruct could be necessary. Most modern homes have optimal ductworks, but older homes may not have been constructed with the most energy-efficient ductwork navigation.

If your energy bills are still high after making any of these updates to your air ducts, there may be an issue with your HVAC system. Before you start on an air duct project, consult a local HVAC company to perform an inspection of your equipment and the structure of your air duct system.

WM Buffington serves Central Pennsylvania homeowners and businesses with the most trustworthy HVAC services. We are very knowledgeable in air duct structure and inspections to discover and fix the real issue that’s driving up your monthly costs. Give us a call today to help save you money on your energy bills.

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