So you might be asking yourself, what even are air ducts? Well, that’s a great place to start. Ducts are used in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) to deliver and remove air in every area of your home. They are typically made out of either aluminum, galvanized steel, or fiberglass and run throughout your home space.

Your ductwork is exceptionally critical to the energy conservation and air quality in your home. You can have a brand new top of the line heating and cooling system, but if your air ducts are not properly cleaned, designed or sealed, you could be wasting a lot of money and cool or heated air.

Duct cleaning and sealing are also one of the most labor intensive and expensive services for heating and air companies. Unfortunately, because of this labor, cost, and the fact that manufacturers don’t sponsor it, it is often overlooked, disrespected, and even ignored by many HVAC technicians and consultants.

You may not be aware of how much air your ducts are actually leaking. Studies have shown that the average air duct leakage in the United States is about 30%. That means that 30% of heated or cooled air is being lost on its journey from your HVAC system to your home. In Athens, Georgia, air duct leakage is at approximately 27%. One sign that your ducts are leaking is a significant difference in your thermostat temperature setting and the actual temperature in the room. Another sign is spaces or rooms in your home that are difficult to heat or cool. Also, your utility bills in the winter and summer months could be above average.

The design of your duct system could also be contributing greatly to significant air leakage and poor ventilation in your home. It is crucial to have a certified and educated technician or consultant to plan, size, optimize, and find pressure losses in the duct design. Alternatives of the duct design depend greatly on your home, lifestyle, and season.

Testing the efficiency, cleanliness, and tightness of your air ducts is encouraged if your home is older or if you are experiencing an of the signs of leakage listed above. A visual inspection of the ductwork is encouraged and beneficial in inspecting the cleanliness of the ducts; however, it is difficult to determine how much leakage is occurring without duct blaster testing or blower door testing. Both of these tests will accurately show the performance of the ductwork in your home.

Ultimately, if you are concerned with the air quality in your home, your system’s efficiency, or are interested in saving money on your utility bills, we suggest getting a certified technician or consultant to come check out your ductwork and ventilation system.

Olivia McDonald