While everyone readily acknowledges the heating and air conditioning segments of an HVAC system, “ventilation” is often overlooked or forgotten. However, your home’s ductwork is an important aspect of your home’s air quality. By providing channels for the heated or cooled air to be transported into the different areas of your home, as well as improving air quality, your home’s ducts need to be taken care of, as well as the other parts of your HVAC system.
One of the ways to preserve your home’s ductwork for the long haul is sealing any drafts or leaks in the system.
Air quality improvement
Many families don’t realize how many chemicals and contaminants they put into the air in their home on a daily basis. Fumes from garden and household chemicals, insulation particulates, and dust can all contaminate your duct system. These pollutants can aggravate asthma, allergies, and other breathing problems. Sealing the ducts in your home will reduce the risk of pollutants like these entering through cracks or broken seals in the ducts and travelling throughout the rest of your home.
Ducts transport conditioned air throughout your home; however, each room is different from all the other rooms in your home. Some have more windows; some have drafty doors; and by the very nature of a house, rooms will have outside walls to the different directions (north, south, east, and west). While the north walls will often make adjacent rooms cooler, southern and western rooms will remain warmer longer. Eastern-facing rooms will warm up first in the morning, and cool fastest in the evening. All of these variations in your single home mean you need as much help as possible in maintaining a normal, level temperature across the whole house. Sealing and insulating your home’s ductwork can reduce the likelihood of losing heat or cold during air transport.
The normal operation of gas appliances like water heaters, clothes dryers, and furnaces releases combustible gases through their ventilation systems. Fumes like carbon monoxide, smoke, and other harmful pollutants can sometimes get caught up your ventilation system through an unwanted process called backdrafting. This occurs when leaky ductwork siphons these fumes and gases into your ventilation system, instead of allowing them to flow harmlessly to the outside. Sealing leaks and adding insulation can reduce the likelihood of this occurring.
Leaky ducts reduce the efficiency of your heating and cooling system, sometimes by as much as 20%. Sealing and insulating your ductwork will decrease this loss, and thereby increase the efficiency of your system. In addition, if you ever intend to install a new heating or cooling equipment, a well-designed, well-sealed duct system could allow you to downsize to a smaller, less-costly system that can provide better dehumidification.
Better environmental protection
The energy used in our homes frequently comes from the burning of fossil fuels at power plants; this process contributes to smog, acid rain, and climate change. One way to be better stewards of our planet is to reduce the energy we use in our homes; by so doing, we contribute to reducing air pollution. Sealing your ducts can increase the efficiency of your home’s HVAC system, and this will translate directly to a decrease in your personal consumption of fossil fuels and your carbon footprint.