Taking Care of the AC
Summer is fast approaching, in some areas of the country, it is already here and with a vengeance! So, if your HVAC system isn’t cooling your Vacaville, California home now, it is time to have your HVAC system and air duct system inspected. While the HVAC system may be working great, it could need air duct repair. Something this simple could be why it isn’t cooling as it should.
When you don’t get leaking air duct repairs done, you’re costing yourself money. How? Most of the air that your HVAC system is cooling, or heating is leaking out in areas that aren’t helping your home’s comfort level. You’re paying for that energy and getting fewer benefits from it. Depending on where your air ducts are located, such as the attic, basement, or garage, it is making the HVAC equipment work harder, and that is going to wear your system out faster.
How do I find a leak in my air duct?
There are a few methods you can use to check if you need any air duct repairs. Review these options then choose the one best for your home:
- Inspect for any obvious leaks, or separations, in the ductwork. With a flashlight, check the most obvious areas that could need air duct repair. If you find any, mark the area with a sharpie so that you can find easily air duct repair later. Or carry mastic tape with you and make repairs as you find them.
- Turn on the HVAC system to full blast. With the system blowing air, you should be able to find possible air duct repairs needed.
- Inspect the elbows and joints. Any place where air ductwork is connected to other air ductwork is a common area for leaking. If there is a connection or turn in the ductwork, it is prone to leak.
- Check for older air duct repair tape. If there is existing older air duct repair tape, it may be leaking. Remove the old and replace it with new mastic that will seal the duct better.
- Use a smoke pencil. One way to check for air duct repair needs is with a smoke pencil, available at your local home improvement store. Light the pencil and slowly move the pencil over the air duct, watch for smoke swirling, that is where air duct repairs are needed.
What do you use to seal ductwork?
Hiring a professional air duct cleaning and sealing service is the best way, but it is understandable that a homeowner may want to do it themselves to save a few dollars. The following are recommended by professionals as 3 of the best DIY methods of air duct repairing and sealing. Two ways are with air duct repair tape. What kind of tape do you use for ductwork? You can use the following types of tape, which are not “duct tape” as you may be familiar with.
- Short-term Air Duct Repair: Using foil HVAC sealing duct tape will last up to seven years if applied as directed. This is not the ‘duct tape’ you use for repairing vinyl, it is specifically an aluminum or foil duct tape for air duct repair tasks.
- Long-term Air Duct Repair: Using mastic air duct repair sealant tape will last longer, as short as 15 years and up to 25 years. This tape has a fiber reinforcement to the water-based, paste-like substance that hardens after being applied to the ductwork. You’ll need a paintbrush to apply.
Another method for air duct repair is:
- Matching components: Not necessarily recommended by professionals but it will work in a pinch. Using an additional like air duct material to piece two parts together. You’ll still need to use an air duct repair tape to connect the pieces together to assure there isn’t any air loss.
Professional air duct repair services will use an aerosol air duct sealer. A newer method uses a product consisting of polymers or long molecules. When sprayed into the air ducts, they cling together, sealing up holes, leaks, and misalignments. This air duct repair method creates an efficient, tight air duct sealing from the inside.
How long does duct sealant take to dry?
In most cases, within 30 minutes, air duct repair sealant will feel dry to the touch. Instructions will advise waiting up to 24 hours before insulating around the air ducts.
How do I stop condensation in my air ducts?
There is an air duct wrap made with inner foam insulation and an outer foil layer. By wrapping it around the air ducts and fasten with duct tape at the joints, condensation should stop.
Some say that having air ducts cleaned annually isn’t necessary for healthy air. But what having them professional cleaned will also allow a technician to make any air duct repairs needed, which will help your energy efficiency and make your home more comfortable.