Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

Keep Your Ducts Tight for Savings

Contrary to what many northerners may think, winter does come to Yuma, Arizona. Average lows are in the 50s November through April, so our HVAC systems don’t get to rest on their laurels when the air conditioner switches off. In winter, it’s very important to keep your ducts tight for savings on the heating bill.

An Unseen Drain

We caulk around penetrations for cables; we weatherstrip around windows and doors; we install appropriate materials in walls and loft voids. But many of us are comparatively less careful when it comes to ductwork.

Keep Your Ducts Tight for SavingsDucting is essentially a network of large tubes, transferring treated air from the A/C equipment or furnace to your living spaces. Because they’re usually located out of sight – in lofts, crawl-spaces and walls — they’re easy to forget. Forgetting can equal neglect, which is usually costly. Ducting can leak for years without your noticing, and those leaks translate into wasted money.

What To Look For

Residential ductwork is seldom constructed of the sturdy metal tubing often seen on the roofs of commercial and industrial buildings. If you do have that sort of installation, make sure none of the fittings have become dislodged from the ducts they serve; if separation has occurred, use proprietary steel screws to re-establish the connection, and then properly seal the joints.

For installations that use less rigid ducting, look for crushed areas, separated joints and fittings, and for distressed or unattached sealing tape. Any break in the tightness of any seal will reduce the efficiency of your entire system.

A Word on Tape

Duct tape is not the best material for sealing ducts. It soon looses adhesion, especially when subjected to extremes of temperature, and also becomes brittle. Brittle tape will split under only the mildest tension, and splits equal air leaks. Instead, use a heavy mastic tape, available from most home-improvement and hardware stores.

In extreme cases, it may be necessary to replace the ductwork. For answers to any questions on keeping your ducts tight for savings, or to arrange any of our other services, please contact us at Hansberger Refrigeration & Electric Co.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about tighter air ducts and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock