In this Approved Home Pro Show, Mary Jean Anderson demonstrates how you can tell if you have a duct leak and whether you may need duct repair or duct cleaning.
20% leakage is the norm across San Diego - This means homeowners are losing MUCH of their heating and air conditioning efficiency! Title 24 standards require a maximum of only 6% leakage.
Look for dirt build-up - if you are willing to inspect your ducts yourself, look for direct build-up at connections and inside. Condensation due to temperature variations traps dirt, leaving you a big clue that you've got air leakage. Dirt and dust will collect inside your ducts...delivering it directly indoors and into your lungs. Very unpleasant especially for allergy sufferers. *WARNING: If your home was build in 1978 or earlier, please do not self-inspect your ducts as they may contain asbestos!
Duct tape is not actually for air ducts - As noted in the video, "duct tape" is quite the misnomer and it is not intended for ductwork. It will most likely fail, allowing for significant air leakage and air contamination. Use aluminum or mastic tape to seal ductwork.
The R value is important - This refers to the rating of the insulation around the ductwork. The greater the R value, the greater the insulating power. An R value of 8 is the best, but most San Diego homes can do with an R value 6. Energy upgrade financing programs like HERO or Ygrene may require R value 8, but it's absolutely worth it for the benefits of the programs and ongoing energy savings!
A Note About Duct Cleaning:
Many contractors offer low-cost duct cleaning service, but duct cleaning alone is a fairly short-term solution, but "duct cleaning" is only half of the cleaning you need. If homeowners do not take care to to ensure contractors are using the proper tools and techniques to completely clean the system, dirt and dust will just build up again almost immediately and continue to reduce indoor air quality. Complete comfort system cleaning includes cleaning your duct system, blower motor, blower wheel, and evaporator coil. After a complete system cleaning, consider adding a whole home air purifier to keep your system clean, safe and running at peak performance. Ask our Comfort Advisor about "The Healthy Home" approach if you have concerns about the air quality in your home.