Do you feel like your heating and cooling bills keep increasing every year? While it is normal for energy to cost a little more each year, large increases in your energy bills could represent a problem with your HVAC system. One cause of rising energy costs is leaking air ducts. Here are a few things you should know about this potential problem if your energy bills keep rising.
Role of air ducts
If you have a forced-air furnace system, your home will contain air ducts. The role of the ducts is to transfer heated or cooled air to the rooms inside your home. The air ducts connect the furnace to the rooms, and ducts provide a means for the conditioned air to get where it needs to go.
The air ducts in your home are made of sheet metal, and you probably cannot see most of them. You may be able to see some of them if you have a basement, but most homes hide the ducts in the walls and ceilings so that the ducts do not deter from the aesthetics of the home.
Problems air ducts experience
When an HVAC company installs the air ducts in a home, the contractors are working with separate pieces. While the workers strive to connect each piece as tightly and securely as possible, leaks and gaps in the ducts might still occur.
When there is a gap or hole in the air duct system of a home, air leaks out. The air that leaks out is air that has already been heated or cooled, which means you are wasting energy on cooling or heating air that doesn't help make your home more comfortable.
A typical home experiences close to 20 percent of conditioned air loss due to leaks in the ducts. If the system has big leaks in it, you may lose more than the normal percentage. Therefore, you are spending money to heat or cool air, yet a percentage of this air is not providing your home with the heat or AC it needs.
The end result is that you will spend a lot more on your energy bills than you should. In addition, you might experience trouble keeping your home at a comfortable temperature. If too much air leaks from the ducts, you could have problems getting enough air into some of the rooms in your home.
Ways to fix the problem
If you suspect you may have leaky air ducts, the best thing you can do is hire an HVAC company to send experts to evaluate the situation. They will examine your ducts and run tests to find out how efficient they are. If the professionals locate gaps or holes, the HVAC company will fix any problem spots.
The HVAC experts will fix any leaks by placing a special type of tape over small holes and gaps. They may also replace some sections of your ductwork if it is completely worn-out or full of large holes. Your technician will seal all your ducts when performing the repairs.
The expert may also recommend insulating some of the air ducts in your home. For example, if you have air ducts in your attic that are not currently insulated, some of the air could escape from the ducts. If your technician insulates these ducts, you will see an improvement in the efficiency of your system and a decrease in your energy bills.
If you would like to find out if your ducts have leaks in them or if there are other issues with your HVAC system, contact Edge Guys Heating & Cooling. We offer all types of services related to heating and air conditioning systems, and we can help you improve the energy-efficiency of your system.