If your forced-air system has problematic ducts, your Conroe or Montgomery County home is likely costing you extra money. When ductwork is leaking air, there can be other problems as well. Higher energy costs are just the beginning. There are at least five (and potentially more) problems caused by leaky ducts.

A closed system

In order to maintain maximum efficiency, a duct network must be a closed system. That means that the ducts, from the connection at the equipment to the registers that pass the heating or cooling into a room, must be completely sealed — with no exception. Additionally, as conditioned air moves through ducts, it loses energy if it must travel through portions located in unconditioned areas of the system.

Where leaks occur

If your ductwork is leaking air, the problem may stem from:

  • The fact that constant heating and cooling can cause duct connections to expand and contract. Over time, if the connections are not properly sealed, joints can open, and then leak.
  • In much the same way, areas where ducts attach to registers and equipment can become compromised.
  • Broken seals at vents coming into or going out of the home can spill conditioned air into wall cavities or under the floor. 
  • Ducts that leak into the attic area are also a serious problem. 

And if ducts leak, you could be losing as much as 30 percent of the energy your HVAC equipment produces through those air leaks.

Five signs

There are five signs that can indicate ductwork is leaking air, causing problems in your Texas home:

  1. Poor comfort — Does your air feel stuffy? Are certain rooms difficult to cool? Leaking ducts could be spilling your costly cold air into the great outdoors. You may believe that the problem is simply your particular floor plan. The true culprit may be poor duct connections.
  2. Low air quality — Compromised connections can pull in outdoor air as well. If you store chemicals such as paint thinner, fertilizers or pesticides in the basement, those fumes may be mixing with the air inside your home. 
  3. Hazardous backdrafting — Backdrafting is a problem that greatly reduces indoor air quality as well. Vented appliances such as water heaters, clothes dryers and gas furnaces are designed to vent fumes to the outside. As those fumes are sent outdoors, instead of totally dispersing away from the home, your leaky ducts could be pulling some of the fumes back into your home. When ductwork is leaking air, it can be downright dangerous as well as costly.
  4. High energy bills — Look at your utility bills. Do you feel like you’re getting your money’s worth from your heating and cooling system? Even though fuel and electrical costs may be high, when ductwork is leaking air, it only adds to an ever-increasing energy bill. Between high energy costs and your ducts spilling precious air that you’ve paid for into the great outdoors, your wallet is likely feeling the squeeze.
  5. A dusty home — The fact is, in Texas there’s going to be dust. However, collapsed, broken and leaky ductwork can pick up fine particles and distribute them into your home. Dust happens. But if your home seems excessively dusty, the problem may be in your leaking ductwork. 

Your ducts should work for you — not against you. For a complete examination and sealing of your ducts, or for questions that may have you suspicious about your ducting, contact Conroe Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration.

We’ll be happy to answer your questions or inspect your system to see if your ductwork is leaking air. By keeping your ducts sealed, you’ll ultimately keep more of your money in your pocket and the Great Texas outdoors in its place. Give us a call; we’re always ready to help.