How Sealing Your HVAC Ducts can Reduce Your Energy Costs
Did you know that one of the single biggest sources of wasted energy is leaky HVAC ductwork? The ductwork that snakes all over your home and provides conditioned air to most of its rooms is usually made from a material that is easily damaged and worn out over time. This leads to little gaps, cracks, and holes that allow conditioned air to leak out instead of being sent to the areas it was meant to.
Especially if these leaks are located in parts of the ductwork that go through unconditioned areas of your home like basements, stairways, attics, and more, this can have a big impact on your energy bill.
In case you’re one of the many homeowners across America with leaky ductwork, let’s take a comprehensive look at how sealing your HVAC ducts can greatly reduce your overall energy costs.
The Truth About Leaky Ductwork
The insulation in your ductwork is meant to keep the air that travels through it at the correct temperature. The desired result of your insulation is that your HVAC system works as efficiently as possible with little to no wasted energy use.
If you have leaks, however, your HVAC system will be far less efficient at doing its job. You could be losing up to 30% of the energy you use to heat and cool your home if you have leaky ducts.
With the right type of insulation, you can prevent ductwork leaks, temperature drops, and condensation build-up as well. This is crucial because condensation buildup can lead to the growth and spread of mold, as well as rot and other undesirable effects.
When cool air passes through the warm areas of your home, condensation will build up inside the ducts. If the ductwork is torn at all, this condensation will leak out and cause mold and rot to spread.
Preventing Leaks and Saving Energy
As stated above, leaky ductwork in unconditioned areas is the most problematic. That’s why you need the right type of roof insulation as well as a strategy for sealing doors and windows if you want to maximize your energy efficiency. In addition to this, you need the proper amount of insulation in your ductwork.
If you’re using fiberglass insulation or duct wrap in your ductwork, all of your joints and seams should be sealed with mastic before this insulation is installed. This will prevent leaks from developing in vulnerable areas.
If you’re using a closed-cell spray foam insulation, the seams and joints will be automatically sealed as the insulation is being applied.
Ductwork Insulation is Key to Preventing Higher Energy Bills
If you don’t have the right insulation in your HVAC system, you are almost certainly going to suffer significantly higher energy bills. By making sure you seal the joints and seams in your ductwork as well as installing additional roof insulation and sealing doors and windows, you will lower your energy bill and make big strides towards maximum energy efficiency.
Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.