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 your air conditioner’s efficiency level is the quality of your home’s ductwork. We’ve seen people who had to pay 30% more for air conditioning due to leaky ducts —sealing the ducts saved them a lot of money!
Is air duct sealing worth it?
One question we get all the time is whether duct sealing is really worth it. To be fair, it sounds a bit too good to be true, doesn’t it? That this fairly simple job can save you up to 30% 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, and remember—you’re still paying for all that wasted air!
What are the problems with leaky air conditioning ducts?
Aside from wasting money and making your home less comfortable, leaky ducts can cause several other problems:
- Leaks in your return ducts can pull in unconditioned air from outside, reducing your HVAC systems’ efficiency and capacity. This is particularly bad during the summer when moisture in the air is too much for your AC’s dehumidifier and can make your home feel clammy even when the AC is running.
- As air travels through your attic, garage, and any crawl spaces, 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 odd things with your heating systems’ exhaust and can pull combustion products, including carbon monoxide, into your home.
- In the winter, leaky ducts can affect heat pump operation, making the air feel lukewarm or cold when it comes out of the vents. It can also cause overuse of your backup heating system, which defeats the purpose of using a heat pump!
Tightly sealed and efficient 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 HVAC & Plumbing today!