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Cool Touch Air Conditioning and Heating Blog

Leaky Duct Tests Are a Waste of Money

Ducts carry air from the central heater or air conditioner to each part of the home and back again. In a typical house, up to 33% of the air that moves through the duct system is lost because of leaks or improper installation. Fixing duct leaks can save you $200 or more in annual energy costs and improve the comfort of your home.

“Typical duct systems lose 25 to 40 percent of the heating or cooling energy put out by the central furnace, heat pump or air handler. Duct repairs could be the most important energy improvement measure you can do” –US Department of Energy Consumer Reports

Household Duct Tests

Household Duct Tests

“The ducts that are part of central heating and cooling systems are the best opportunities to increase your energy and your comfort. Studies indicate that up to 30% of the heated or cooled air is lost along with the money spent to heat or cool that air through leaky ducts.” – Pacific Gas and Electric Utility



If you are like most homeowners, as long as you’re cooling and heating system is keeping you comfortable, you usually don’t give it much thought. But what you don’t see could be costing you a lot of money each year. Most duct systems are installed in attics or building cavities where they are rarely seen or inspected. They may have been poorly sealed when installed, fittings may have come loose, and duct runs may have become disconnected. All of this leads to a lot of lost air!

“Studies have shown that an average duct system loses 10 to 40 percent of the cool air through gaps in the duct joints. While sealing the ducts is a common practice now, few homes have had this done.”- Readers Digest Family Handyman Magazine

“For an average home, leaky ducts can waste hundreds of dollars each year. Duct leakage also lowers the heating and cooling capacity and can lessen equipment life.” – Southface Energy Institute

The results of a recent utility company study on duct leakage found:

  • Up to 33% of a heating/cooling system’s airflow could be leaking through the ducts, causing a loss of comfort and cooling capacity.
  • The impact is most severe in ducts installed in attics where temperatures can exceed 140 degrees in the summer.
  • On average, almost 15 percent of cooling energy is wasted due to duct leakage.
  • While there will always be some duct leakage, homes with properly sealed ducts can often have leakage reduced from 3 to 5 percent.
Duct Air Flow

Duct Air Flow

“We have done a lot of work in looking at how ducts impact air conditioning systems. Typically a leaky duct system can lose 20% to 40% of the energy you pay for to heat and cool your house,” – Dr, Max Sherman, Department of Energy, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

Does your home need to be tested? Here’s a few questions that if you answer yes to, you should probably have the test performed.

Does your furniture seem to get dusty within a few days after house cleaning?

Are any areas in your home colder in the winter?

Are any areas in your home hotter in the Summer?

Do you ever feel uncomfortable even though the A/C is on? ( wake up sweating or clammy feeling)

Does your system ever run non-stop and still not keep you comfortable?

Does your house ever smell musty or unpleseant?

Does anyone in your home :

Ever go to bed with a clear head and wake up stuffy the next morning?

Get frequent headaches, flu like symptoms, or feel tired all the time?

Have asthma, or allergies to dust, pollen or molds?

If any of these symptoms are experienced by any of your family members or you would like to see if a duct test will save you money in energy costs, then call Cool Touch today and schedule your test. 623-584-3762.




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