The Importance of Properly Sealing Ductwork: An Expert's Perspective

As an expert in the field of HVAC systems, I have seen firsthand the impact that poorly sealed ductwork can have on a home's energy efficiency and overall comfort. Many homeowners are unaware of the importance of properly sealing their ducts, and as a result, they may be losing a significant amount of heating or cooling energy. In this article, I will discuss the various methods that can be used to seal leaks in ductwork and the benefits that come with it.

Sealing Air Leaks

The first step in sealing ductwork is to identify and seal any air leaks. This can be done using a putty sealer or metal tape, which should be applied to all accessible ducts, such as those in attics, mezzanines, unfinished basements, and garages.

It is important to note that adhesive tape should never be used, as it does not provide a long-lasting seal. Instead, a layer of silicone sealant should be applied along both edges of the duct joint. For round ducts, aluminum tape is the recommended option over adhesive tape.

Professional Duct Sealing

While sealing air leaks is a relatively simple process, sealing ducts from the inside out is much more complex and should be left to professionals. This process involves using specialized materials such as butyl adhesive tape or oriented polypropylene (OPP) tape to create a durable seal around duct joints.

The benefits of professional duct sealing are even greater in extreme weather conditions, as it helps to maintain a consistent temperature and prevent contaminants from entering the system.

The Benefits of Duct Sealing

Aside from improving energy efficiency and airflow, there are many other benefits to properly sealing ductwork. For one, it helps to ensure that the air conditioner is delivering air at the right temperature without any leaks. This not only improves comfort but also helps to reduce energy costs. Additionally, sealing ducts can help to improve indoor air quality by preventing contaminants from entering the system.

Methods of Sealing Ductwork

There are several methods that can be used to seal ductwork, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

One option is to use an acrylic spray sealant, which can be combined with manual sealing of other accessible areas for maximum effectiveness. Another option is to use high-quality adhesive tape or putty, which can provide a long-lasting seal when applied correctly. For a more advanced solution, Aeroseal sealant can be used, which involves injecting a liquid rubber sealant into the system.

Testing for Leaks

Before and after sealing ductwork, it is important to perform a duct leak test to verify that the implementation was successful and quantify the improvement. This can be done using an injection system that measures airflow and leaks throughout the sealing process.

The process will stop once the desired level of leakage has been achieved.

Considerations for Wet Conditions

In wet conditions, it may take longer for the sealant to dry in the ducts, which may require a slower airflow or a longer tunnel. It is important to take this into consideration when planning for duct sealing in these conditions.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, properly sealing ductwork is crucial for maintaining energy efficiency, improving comfort, and ensuring good indoor air quality. Whether you choose to seal air leaks yourself or hire a professional for more advanced sealing methods, the benefits are well worth the investment. Don't let your poorly sealed ducts continue to cost you money and compromise your comfort – take action and seal those leaks today!.