What do you think causes most air conditioner inefficiency? Part of it has to do with the system’s SEER. The quality of installation is another big one. But ultimately, the thing that makes the most difference in determining your air conditioner’s efficiency level is the quality of your ductwork! We’ve seen people who have had to pay 30 percent more for cooling due to leaky ducts—sealing the ducts saved them a lot of money!
Is duct sealing worth it?
One question we get all the time is whether duct sealing is really worth it. And to be fair, it sounds a little too good to be true, doesn’t it? That a fairly simple job can save you up to 30 percent on your heating and cooling bills and make your home more comfortable? But let’s look at the facts (technical jargon coming up—just follow us on this one!):
The standard for most cooling systems is 400 CFM (cubic feet per minute) or airflow per ton of cooling. At this rate, a leak of 300 CFM (which is not unheard of) can cause you to lose about ¾ of a ton of cooling. 300 CFM is not even the worst leak we’ve seen, either, and remember—you’re still paying for all that wasted air!
What are the problems with leaky ducts?
Aside from wasting money and making your home less comfortable, leaky ducts can cause a number of other problems:
- Leaks in your return ducts can actually pull in unconditioned air from outside, which reduces both the efficiency and capacity of your HVAC systems. This is particularly bad during the summer, when moisture in the air brought in is too much for your AC’s dehumidifier and can cause your home to feel clammy, even when the AC is running.
- As air travels through your attic, garage, and any crawlspaces, it can pull in dusty, moldy air and move this contaminated air around the house.
- Duct leaks can lead to household depressurization, which can do funky things with your heating systems’ exhaust and can pull combustion products, including carbon monoxide, into your home.
- During the winter, leaky ducts can hurt heat pump operation, causing the air to feel luke-warm or cold when it comes out of the vents. It can also cause overuse of your backup heating system, which defeats the purpose of even using a heat pump!
Tightly sealed ductwork is one of the keys to a healthy, comfortable, and energy-efficient home all year long. If you need duct sealing or any HVAC services in Maryland, call Michael Bonsby Heating & Air Conditioning today!