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Cool Touch Air Conditioning and Heating Blog

An Enemy of Winter Energy Efficiency: Duct Leaks!


Keeping energy efficiency high in your house during an Arizona winter is a tricky balancing act. You won’t run your air conditioning system as often, but you’ll still need it on occasion. You won’t rely daily on your heater, but it will put in some steady periods of work. Utility bills each month can zing back and forth, unlike the summer when you’ll have a good idea of what you’ll see because the AC runs nearly every day.

But if you’re noticing that your energy bills are higher than normal this winter, no matter if you’re using the AC or the furnace, the problem may come from one of the big foes of home energy efficiency. It’s a thief that can hide in the walls and in the attic—leaky air ducts!

The Problem With Duct Leaks

At first glance, a few air holes in the walls of ducts hidden out of your sight may not sound too bad. There’s plenty of ductwork, why would a couple leaks make any difference? 

But any air leaks are problems, because ductwork is supposed to form an airtight seal from where it leaves the HVAC cabinet to where it exits into the rooms through the vents. This seal allows the ventilation system to maintain air pressure. When air pressure drops, the HVAC performance suffers. The blower motor must work harder to make up the difference, resulting in power drain as the system runs for longer and longer to replace the lost air. And that air that’s escaping into the walls and the attic is air you’ve already paid to heat and cool—and it’s going to waste.

Air leaks in ducts can account for a loss of up to 30% of the air moving through them. That is a massive amount of waste. The leaks also allow unfiltered and dusty air to enter the ducts and end up blown into the air of the living spaces, creating unpleasant odors and unhealthy conditions. 

What Can Be Done About This

If you have reason to believe that something is wrong with the ducts because your energy bills are alarmingly high, the best step to take is to call us for service on your ductwork in Sun City, AZ. It’s not difficult for us to determine the state of your ventilation system: we use special testing methods to find out if the ductwork is losing air pressure and how much. 

Once we’ve done that, we can locate the duct leaks and seal them. This is a specialized service, and not something that just anyone can do with a roll of commercially purchased duct tape. (Duct tape is misnamed, anyway, as it doesn’t work effectively on ducts.) We’ll seal the gaps and holes with special metallic tapes and sealant, as well as handle any repairs necessary to misaligned ducts. When we’re finished, we can perform tests to make sure that the ductwork is once again airtight. 

Call us with any questions you may have about your ducts or those high winter energy bills.

Call on Cool Touch Air Conditioning and Heating for HVAC services in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Kick back and relax: we’ll keep you cool!

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