Inspecting your air ducts for potential leaks is an important part of ensuring the efficiency of your HVAC system and maintaining the air quality of the unit. Any leaks in your air ducts can cause your energy bill to skyrocket and while it may be tempting to put the blame on your HVAC system, the problem is most likely to lie deep within the framework of your ducts. Even the smallest air leaks in your ducts can end up hurting not only your wallet but also your HVAC system.
Locating the air leaks in your ducts may seem a bit intimidating but once you know your way around it, it is a pretty easy process. It is always best to contact Ontario duct cleaning service in Brampton to get the task done without any hassles but in case you are interested in giving it a go yourself, here's how you can check for any leaks in your air ducts:
1. Check the Duct Joints
The most vulnerable place in air ducts for leaks is the joints. The joints tend to weaken with time due to general wear and tear. This can cause loose fitting in the air ducts resulting in leakage. One can check for leaks around the joints by running their hands underneath every ductwork joint and ensuring no air is coming out from them.
2. Ductwork Inspection
Locating air leaks in the frameworks of your ducts starts with carefully examining each area and searching for any airflow for loose fittings and obvious tears. The problem area that you may find in the framework should be marked with a marker or pencil to be fixed later after the inspection is completed.
3. Signs of Duct Tape
This applies to individuals who have purchased an old home. The biggest tell-all sign for air leakage in old homes is the sign of duct tape. In any area, you may spot the duct tape is most likely the place where you will find a leak. It is most commonly used by homeowners to fix air leaks temporarily.
It may seem to solve the problem initially but it is never the permanent solution for it, instead, it could worsen the issue over time. While carrying out the duct inspection, you should always look for these signs and remove the duct tape. The air leaks should later be fixed properly using the proper methods and ensure the efficiency of your HVAC.
4. Turn Your HVAC system on Full Blast
It will always be easier to find air leaks with your HVAC system turned on full blast. This way the leaks will become more obvious and you will spend less time trying to spot them. You can also make use of a smoke pencil to find the source of the leaks. And as you notice the flame twirling in an odd pattern, you can make the location of the air leak and fix it when the inspection is completed.
How To Seal Air Ducts
Once you have discovered the source of the leak, sealing them would be really easy. Heat-approved tapes such as aluminum foil tape is a great way to secure the leaks. Always make sure to look for the label that says Underwriters Laboratory (UL) when purchasing.
Now that you have the tape to secure it with, you need to clean the surface completely and place a strip of aluminum foil tape or any other heat-approved tape. You can also use your mastic sealant and a paintbrush to seal the tape over the leak. It is recommended to use the mastic sealant on the leaks that are difficult to close with the foil tape.
Basically, the mastic sealant provides better efficiency than any duct tape and also offers more durability. The repairs performed with it are bound to last longer. It is also easier to apply than other available options The only downside is, the mastic sealant is not effective for leaks larger than 1/4 inch. So in a case where the leak is larger than 1/4 inch, use the aluminum tape combined with the mastic sealant.