What is the condition of the ductwork in your home? Your answer is probably that you don’t know. This makes sense, because it’s difficult to see these air channels that are set within the walls and the attic of the house. Even if you could see stretches of the ductwork, you might not recognize spots where air was leaking unless you have a trained eye.
Basically, it takes a Dover, DE, HVAC contractor to determine the condition of your ducts through the process of duct testing. We offer duct testing as part of our service to care for home ventilation systems (the “V” in HVAC). This might sound like an unimportant job, but duct testing is useful. In fact, it can mean the difference in an efficient and comfortable home, and an inefficient, unevenly heated and cooled, and unhealthy home.
Duct testing locates air leaks
The purpose of duct testing is to determine the integrity of the ducts of the HVAC system. Ducts are designed to maintain an airtight seal along their length. This is necessary to prevent loss of air pressure and to keep the distribution of conditioned air even among the rooms.
To test ducts, our technicians first seal off the registers in the house to close off the ductwork. The technicians than raise the air pressure in the ducts and measure how fast it declines. The faster the drop, the more air leaks are present in the ducts.
Air leaks are costly
How much difference do these air leaks make? Much more than you may think. The US Department of Energy has determined that as much as 30% of the air passing through the ducts can escape through the leaks. That’s almost a third of the air you’ve already paid to have heated or cooled going to waste. Imagine spending a third of your winter heating budget to provide heat to the attic—that’s what happens when you’ve got leaking ductwork.
Air leaks cause discomfort
The general drop in air pressure inside the ductwork because of leaks will lower comfort throughout the house. The most notable negative effect is uneven heating and cooling, with some rooms receiving much less conditioned air than they are supposed to. One of the early signs you may need to schedule duct testing is finding rooms that are too cold or too hot.
Air leaks can lead to contaminant-filled air
Those gaps and holes in the ductwork will allow dust and other debris from places like the attic and between the walls to sneak into the air blown around the house. It can also cause swings in humidity levels.
Schedule duct testing regularly or when you believe your ducts are in trouble
If you have any reason to suspect leaky air ducts based on higher bills, dusty air, and drops in comfort, schedule duct testing right away. We also recommend having duct testing done every three to five years even if you don’t notice symptoms of problems. You may be paying more and not even know it.
Atlantic Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Inc. has delivered over 30 years of quality service. Schedule duct testing and other HVAC services today.