Your home’s air ducts act as a household’s lungs, distributing heated or cooled air throughout your home. When there are serious leaks in this system, it can cause major problems such as high energy bills, degraded air quality and discomfort in your Greater Cleveland area home.

What Exactly Occurs When a Duct System Has Leaks?

Because most of your ductwork is located in areas that are not meant to be heated or cooled, such as attics, crawlspaces and basements, air leaks cause your HVAC system to become an open system rather than a closed one. This means you both lose treated air to these unconditioned spaces, and the unconditioned air within these spaces may get sucked into the ducts and sent to your living spaces. This uncontrolled air transfer significantly affects the heating and cooling loads of your HVAC system and introduces unregulated and poor quality air (such as hazardous vapors from your garage) into your household.

How Do Leaks Develop?

As a home ages, its condition and materials change. Your caulking may erode and tape adhesive dry out. Or when doors are constantly closed and air can’t reach return registers, it gets forced into other areas, impacting the integrity of return ducts. Basically, anything interfering with air circulation can make your air ducts less efficient, leading to unwanted pressure in certain areas that will ultimately cause holes and leaks.

What’s the Best Way to Seal Air Leaks?

While handy homeowners can repair leaks in exposed ductwork fairly easily with mastic or acrylic-adhesive foil tape, it’s advisable to hire a professional technician to repair hard-to-reach ductwork and test for properly working return ducts. Despite its name, standard duct tape is not an acceptable solution for air duct leaks, and you should be skeptical about any contractor attempting to use it.

For more information on sealing air duct leaks, or to learn about other energy-efficient heating and cooling products and solutions, contact your local HVAC professionals at Stack Heating & Cooling. We have been providing superior service and quality HVAC products to Avon and other parts of the Greater Cleveland area since 1976.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about duct leaks and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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