Your HVAC system’s air ducts are meant to stay hidden away in the attic, only to be seen when you go searching for holiday decorations or other infrequently used items. But did you know that they can leak from damage or improper installation, causing high energy bills and reducing the efficiency of your air conditioner? That’s why it’s important to check your air ducts for leaks.
Understanding HVAC Air Ducts
If the unit is the heart of your home’s HVAC system, the air ducts are the veins, carrying cool, conditioned air to every room of your house. These insulated tubes look sturdy, but they can easily be damaged even during installation if the technician isn’t careful, allowing your air to escape before it ever reaches its destination. If your air ducts are leaking, the cool air escaping into your attic might as well be money on your utility bill.
Ask a Professional
Handling and inspecting ductwork is a job best left to a professional, as trained technicians have the proper skills and tools to find every possible leak and seal it. If you suspect leaky ductwork, whether it be because of unusually high energy bills or bad air quality in your home, contact an HVAC professional and make sure the job is done right.
Checking Your HVAC Ductwork
If you’re an experienced home DIYer or you want to do some preliminary testing before calling on the pros, you can check your ductwork for leaks by following these steps:
- Start by looking for any visible damage, like dents, visible holes, or haphazardly placed ductwork. Mark these spots for repair.
- Turn on your AC full blast. Then, starting at the joints, use your hand to feel for leaking air. You can use incense or a smoke pencil for extra accuracy.
- After marking any leaks at the joints, repeat the process down the entire length of the air ducts. Keep an eye out for duct tape, which is often used as a temporary leak fix.
- Once you’ve marked all of the leaks, your ductwork is ready for air duct repair from a professional.