The duct system is often overlooked as a system which offers great potential for energy savings, but that’s understandable since ducts are tucked away out of sight. If you haven’t given your ducts a second thought, write “check ductwork” on your springtime maintenance list to drive down energy bills and boost cooling comfort in your Orlando home.
The job of air ducts is to channel cooled, heated and vented air from the heat pump, furnace or A/C to the living spaces. If the ductwork is leaky, obstructed or un-insulated, it cannot perform its job efficiently, and your pocketbook (and comfort) pays a high price — as much as 30 percent in the typical home according to Energy.gov. These are giveaway signs of inefficient ducts:
- Uneven cooling and heating from room to room are indicators of leaks and obstructions.
- Clamoring and rattling noises are giveaway signs of loose connections. Those noises are created by resistance and energy dollars (airflow) escaping.
- If the airflow creates loud swooshing noises, the ducts may be too small for the HVAC system.
- A visual inspection is needed to locate un-insulated ducts and fallen duct portions.
Whether your Orlando home is older or newer, ducts are usually constructed with bare minimum budget. Duct connections may have been taped with “duct” tape, which, despite its name, should not be used to seal ducts. There may be bare metal ducts with no insulation, which easily conducts heat energy, typically in unconditioned spaces (extremely hot attics in summertime). These are the basic steps for tightening up the air ducts:
- Your HVAC pro uses a blower door test to pinpoint pinhole leaks and large leaks alike.
- Damaged duct portions are replaced.
- Loose connections are sealed with mastic and metal tape.
- Un-insulated ductwork is insulated with fiberglass rolls or rigid board.
If you are inspecting ducts for an HVAC system replacement or new construction, make sure the ducts and system are sized correctly using Manuals J and D from the Air Conditioning Contractors of America.
For more tips on tightening ductwork in your Orlando home, contact Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about ductwork and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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