Signs Your HVAC Air Ducts Are Leaking

image of hvac ductwork that is leaking

An HVAC system consists of complex components that work collectively to provide your home with the required heating or cooling. Aside from the indoor and outdoor units, it also has air ducts and vents that distribute warm and cold air throughout your home. When you experience heating or cooling problems, homeowners typically suspect that they have a piece of malfunctioning equipment on their hands. However, the problem might be because of the HVAC ductwork. You might have leaks across your ducts that are difficult to see right away. However, there are some telltale signs of leaky air ducts that you should keep an eye out for.

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Signs Your HVAC Air Ducts Are Leaking

Read on to learn more about the common signs that point to a leak in your HVAC air ducts.

1. Increased Utility Bills

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Leaky ducts waste energy. The warm or cold air does not reach their destinations and instead goes to unwanted areas like the attic. The set temperatures become more difficult to achieve, forcing the system to use more energy. As a result, you will notice a gradual or sudden increase in your monthly energy bills even if your HVAC usage remains unchanged. This is an expensive problem that needs to be resolved immediately.

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2. Noticeable Dustiness In The Home

Leaks move the conditioned air in unwanted spaces that are typically caked with dust. Therefore, dust ends up getting circulated in your house even if your day-to-day household activities remain unchanged. You might notice that your home is dustier, which will undoubtedly be detrimental to your health and well-being. Symptoms like runny nose, sneezing, and allergies will be apparent. It can also aggravate people with existing respiratory problems.

3. Uneven Heating And Cooling

image of homeowner feeling hot due to hvac air duct leaks

Different temperatures from one room to the other will be apparent if there are leaky ducts. This is because the conditioned air from your HVAC system does not reach the rooms farthest from the source. Instead, the air escapes through the holes and gaps in the ductwork. This is one of the most common signs, and it is hard to miss. Homeowners can try and adjust the thermostat setting to correct the uneven temperatures. However, this will change nothing unless the leaks are resolved first.

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4. Poor Indoor Air Quality

Aside from distributing beds of dust around your house, leaky HVAC ducts can also cause toxic gases to circulate in your home. The air could be pulled from external sources or rooms like the basement. There could be chemicals, such as paint thinners and pesticides, stored in these areas that could release fumes you’d end up inhaling without knowing. If you smell any strong odors around your house, look for the cause immediately.

5. Need Frequent HVAC Repairs

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Older HVAC systems tend to break down more often because of their age. However, this should not happen when you have a relatively new system. A well-maintained HVAC system has more than ten years under its belt. However, if the ducts are leaking, it will cause the system to strain and shorten its lifespan. It causes components to wear out faster, so leaks should be repaired as soon as possible to prevent this problem from happening.

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How To Find Leaks In Your HVAC Ductwork

Here are some steps you can take to find the leaks your ductwork has:

1. Look For All Visible Holes And Tears In Your Air Ducts

Look for holes and tears across your ductwork carefully. Mark them using a grease pencil, so they are easy to locate when you have them repaired.

2. Switch Your HVAC System On Full Blast

hand increasing heating temperature at home

It might be difficult for you to find all the leaks in your ducts. To help you locate them, you can turn on your system to full blast. This will allow you to feel the temperature difference around the leaks so you can find most, if not all, of the tears in your duct.

3. Inspect The Duct Joints

The joints in the ductwork are typically its weak points. Therefore, leaks develop around them if they are not sealed correctly. If you think your duct is leaking, run a hand over the joints so you can detect if there is any air escaping through them.

4. Remove Duct Tape

image of duct tape that was use to cover hvac ductwork leak

If you recently moved houses, check the ductwork if there are any duct tapes. The previous owners might have used them to cover the leaks. However, this temporary solution should be removed and the holes should be sealed properly by a professional HVAC technician.

5. Light Incense

If you are having a hard time finding the leaks, you can light incense or use other colorful smokes to help you. The holes or tears in the area will make the smoke swirl so you can spot them easily. This way, even the smallest of leaks can be detected immediately.

6. Seal The Ductwork Leaks

Once you’ve found all the leaks, sealing the HVAC ductwork is the next step. Let a professional HVAC contractor do the job so that the issue will not reoccur again. A technician will use permanent seals and find all leaks, even those you might’ve missed. They will conduct a thorough inspection so that you receive the best possible results.


7. Test With Fog

When all the leaks have been sealed, you can test the ducts using a fog machine. This will allow you to discover if there are any leaks left in your ductwork. Ensure that the bigger holes have been sealed first so that your basement and attic do not fill with smoke. Keep in mind that HVAC experts have the required tools, skills, and experience to find the leaks promptly and correctly. They also know the best method to repair ductwork air leaks so that your HVAC system can function as it should.

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Every air leak problem is different. Therefore, some repair methods will work better than others, depending on several factors. Have a professional HVAC technician assist you with sealing them up as they know which solution will work best for your home. They will find all leaks across your ductwork and seal them properly. This way, you can enjoy healthy indoor air quality, low energy bills, even heating or cooling, extended unit lifespan, and fewer repairs.

Call Miller Oil Company For Effective HVAC Solutions

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When you need top-quality heating and cooling services in Hartford County, Connecticut, call Miller Oil Company. Our professionally certified technicians provide superior HVAC repairs, maintenance, installations, and replacements. Each of our skilled and experienced techs can service your system accurately and promptly.

Miller Oil Company offers highly affordable and competitive HVAC service prices in the area. We provide maintenance services that improve your energy efficiency and help extend your system’s lifespan. We can also recommend the most suitable repair and replacement solutions that are within your budget. All our work comes with a guarantee. Contact Miller Oil Company and book an appointment with us today for a free, no-obligation, in-home estimate.

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