Duct, Duct, Goose?

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chris balzarBy Chris Balzar, ECES

Do you remember the childhood game Duck Duck Goose? Do you know Duct Duct Goose? Of course not, it’s made up. Ductwork is a system or network of ducts which bring cool air to the different rooms and living areas of our homes. 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. This can happen in new homes and older homes. When these gaps and holes occur, the conditioned air we pay for and our HVAC system which worked so hard to produce, leaks out into our attics. A typical home can experience close to 20% of conditioned air loss from leaking ducts. If the leaks are big enough, even more loss can occur costing you money and comfort.

Another problem we come across is when there is work done in the attic. Maybe you had a security system installed or needed cable run into a room which wasn’t wired. Many of these things need a technician to go in the attic, navigate in a hot, hard-to-walk-around, dark area while performing these services. Ductwork tends to run in the same places these wires need to run and sometimes ductwork is used as railing or support by the technician so they don’t end up putting their foot through the ceiling. Putting pressure on ductwork can cause holes and cracked seams. These are less common, but do happen and, unfortunately, are unseen because they happen in the attic.

More common is that over time, our seams, connectors, tape and vent boxes fail due to the harsh environment they are in. Failing tape is most often. The duct tape, which was used, becomes brittle and can no longer keep a tight seal. Good news is that repairing these leaks is a simple one. Inspection of ductwork and boxes can easily detect these leaks. Foil tape and mastic (which is a type of paste applied to seams which foil tape can’t seal) is used to reseal these leaks keeping the conditioned air flowing for years to come. We tend to forget how important these systems really are and how important it is to maintain them. It is always a great idea to schedule an inspection and improve the efficiency on one of our largest investments—our homes.

Chris Balzer is Founder and President of Emerald Coast Energy Solutions which is a Smile Provider Company. It provides smiles to customers after installing high energy efficient products, increasing comfort and lowering energy bills. For more information on how to save this summer and become energy efficient, schedule an inspection by calling (850) 588-2870, visit www.trusteces.com or email wecare@trusteces.com and BEAT THE HEAT!