What is Air Duct Leakage?

man looking in air duct

Maintaining a home in its optimal condition is not as easy as it seems. And one of the most common issues faced by homeowners is air duct leakage.

In fact, it is estimated that the average home over 10 years old can have 20% to 30% duct leakage. Air duct leakage occurs when your HVAC system is losing cooled or heated air through cracks or poorly connected air ducts.

Because it is one of the major sources of energy waste in homes, it’s important to fix the problem right away or spot early signs of leaky air ducts to prevent the issue from worsening. In this article, we’ll discuss what air duct leakage is, why and how it happens, and what you can do about it.

Understanding Air Duct Leakage

The air duct system is the branching network of tubes in your ceiling, walls, and floors that carry the heated or cooled air from your furnace or air conditioner throughout your home. When these ducts have holes or gaps, leaks may occur which can cause problems that are often costly.

Having leaky air ducts is somehow similar to having your air conditioner or heater running while your front door is open. Your HVAC system will work harder and your electricity bill will be higher. Not to mention that your unit may have a shortened lifespan because of intense usage and excessive run time.

Aside from reduced comfort, negative air pressure could fill your home with dirty air that is harmful for those with allergies.

How Air Duct Leakage Occurs

If you're wondering how air duct leakage occurs, here are the possible scenarios:

  • Ducts were never installed properly or tested for leaks. All segments must fit tightly, especially at elbows and joints
  • No mechanical fastening at each connection or broken sealant or metal tape
  • Dry heat in Las Vegas can cause cracks and can make ductwork and duct insulation loose over time
  • Accidentally stepped on or damaged
  • Damaged by rodents and animals that turned the ductwork into shelter or entertainment
  • Pressure differences inside your home can cause air to leak from the ducts
  • Natural wear and tear may occur, which is why you need to have your air ducts checked and maintained on an annual basis

Fixing Air Duct Leakage

When you start to notice signs of leaky air ducts, look for gaps, cracks, and poorly connected air ducts. In case you find the root of the problem, don’t try to fix it yourself by using duct tape as unskilled attempts can potentially make things worse. Even if you do spot the major leaks, fixing them on your own may potentially cause your home’s pressure to be unbalanced.

Therefore, if you suspect air duct leakage in your home, the best thing to do is to contact your trusted local HVAC company like Rebel Refrigeration, A/C, and Plumbing. At Rebel, we are one of the few contractors in Las Vegas that have state of the art technology to tell you exactly what percentage of air you are losing, as well as how to find and repair all the leaks. Give us a call at (702) 766-9436 or contact us here to speak with a member of our highly trained technicians.

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