Well-sealed ductwork and proper ventilation can make a big difference in the comfort of your home. The ductwork in your home carries conditioned air throughout the home. Leaky ductwork can affect energy efficiency by making heating and cooling systems work harder. Leaky ductwork can also draw pollutants and allergens from outside into your home, making breathing uncomfortable.
Assessing your Greensboro Home’s Ductwork
To test the ductwork during a blower door test, our technician fits a pressure pan over a duct vent to measure the air pressure. If the duct pressure is lower than the house pressure, the duct is leaking air. By moving through the house with the pressure pan, leaky ducts can be pinpointed for inspection and sealing. Despite its universal utility, so called “duct tape” is no longer used to seal ducts. Instead, water-based mastic is brushed on to provide an airtight seal on duct work exteriors. Mastic can be applied to duct collars, joints, metal duct seams, and air returns—wherever a leak is detected. As part of the duct sealing, the air handler will also be inspected for tight seams and properly-installed panels.
How’s Your Insulation & Crawl Space?
Once properly sealed, another important aspect of duct work is ensuring that the air temperature remains constant while moving through the system. Ductwork often travels through attics, crawl spaces and basements where energy can be lost. As part of a energy efficiency upgrade, insulation around ductwork should be inspected and replaced if necessary. If ductwork is located in a crawl space, encapsulation may include inspecting and replacing ductwork insulation.
Ventilation: Key to a Healthy Home
A well-sealed home will change the dynamics of home indoor air, making ventilation even more essential for good indoor air quality. Air that may have been seeping into the home in drafts now needs to be replaced through ventilation. Bathroom fans are checked to determine if they meet the ENERGY STAR® minimum of 50 cubic feet per minute (CFM). Kitchen exhaust fans are generally sized to handle the heat produced by the stove so the CFM rate can vary.
If further ventilation is necessary, the HVAC system may be upgraded to handle this whole house ventilation task. Another common addition to ventilation is an ERV (energy recovery ventilator) ventilation unit, which exchanges indoor air for fresh outdoor air while maintaining proper interior humidity in changing seasons. Less common in Winston-Salem and surrounding neighborhoods is an HRV ventilation fan which retains heat from the conditioned air and is used in cold weather conditions.
If you think you may have leaky ductwork, contact us today to set up an inspection.