An HVAC specialist checking an air duct for leaks with the words, testing for air duct leaks.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency reports that the average duct system of a home loses about 20-30% of its airs due to holes and leaks in the ductwork. This loss of air isn’t only causing a rise in energy costs but it also does major damage to the environment. Higher energy costs mean higher demand for resources that helps us produce energy, such as coal. In order to better protect the environment and your wallet, it is important to follow these tips on how to test your air ducts for leaks.

Signs of an Air Duct Leak

Unfortunately, air duct leaks and air conditioning unit malfunctions have similar signs. This can include;

  • Higher monthly energy bills
  • Rooms are difficult to heat or cool
  • Rooms never stay at a comfortable temperature
  • There is an obvious sign of tangle or twisted section of your ductwork

Checking to see if your air duct is the problem can save you some trouble because you might be able to tell them the direct source of your cooling problems.

Locating Obvious Tears

The first step you can take in testing your air-ducts for leaks is by doing a visual inspection of your ductwork. You will need to turn your air conditioning unit on full blast in order to spot any obvious signs of a leak. Next, take a smoke stick, incense stick, or even toilet paper and slowly pass it over the top of the ductwork. If the smoke or toilet paper begins to move erratically, then you can be sure that you are experiencing a leak. Make sure to mark this spot with a grease pencil, so that an HVAC technician can help you repair the damaged section.

Check the Duct Joints for Leaks

The duct joint, or the area where your two ducts meet, is a common area for a leak to occur. These joints are under a heightened amount of strain and pressure on a daily basis, causing them to wear down faster than the rest of your ductwork. To check this area, place your hand near the joints and feel around the seams. If there is a breeze, then you can be sure that air is escaping. Mark the area with a grease pencil so you can repoint it out to an HVAC technician.

Look For Duct Tape

Duct tape is a solution for almost any problem. As the band-aid solution of the mechanic world, many people just stick some over the leak as a patch. Unfortunately, it is very easy to forget about the patch, leaving the tear to become worse over time. If you see any duct-tape, it is highly possible that it is the source of the leak.

Air leaks can leave a hole in your wallet and only become worse over time. Cote’s Mechanical, LLC can help you repair or replace your air ducts to prevent further leaks. For all of your HVAC needs, call Cote’s Mechanical today!