How Do I Know if My Air Ducts Are Leaking? 4 Tell-Tale Signs

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Since 2012, over 90% of new single-family homes in the US had ducted central air conditioners. As of 2019, that has risen to more than 95%. The majority of these homes also rely on ductwork to circulate heated air.

Unfortunately, as convenient as ducts are, they’re prone to energy-wasting leaks. Read on to discover how to find and fix leaky air ducts and the problems they cause.

1. Unexplainable Spikes in Utility Bills

According to this post, ducts account for about a fifth of a typical home’s energy use each year. Unfortunately, that can increase considerably if conditioned air escapes through leaks. So, if your bills have gone up even without any significant changes in how you heat or cool your home, you likely have duct leaks.

It’s imperative to find and fix leaky air ducts, as they can waste 25% to 40% of cooling or heating energy. All that wasted conditioned air translates to wasted money on higher electricity bills.

2. Not Warm or Cool Enough

Leaks in ducts can pull uncooled or unheated air into the ducts. In this case, the unconditioned air mixes with the conditioned air. This then alters the temperature of the already-heated or -cooled air.

As such, duct leaks can result in uneven cooling or heating of your home. If you notice some rooms in your house feeling colder or hotter than others, leaky ducts may be to blame.

3. Noticeable Hot or Cold Spots

Leaks can spill conditioned air directly into the space outside the damaged area of the duct. For example, a hole in the duct can pull conditioned air out and straight onto a wall or a floor. So, you’re likely to feel a concentrated blast of heated or cooled air within that specific spot.

4. Frequently Turns On and Off

If your comfort system turns on and off more than usual, it means it’s short-cycling. It can occur due to unusual drops or spikes in ambient indoor temperature. These changes can trigger the system to turn off or on before it should.

Damaged ducts can be a culprit because the air they leak or pull in can mess with the indoor temperature.

Please note that short cycling can speed up the wear and tear in your heater and AC. It also prevents systems from reaching their peak performance and efficiency. For these reasons, it’s vital to find leaky air ducts and have them repaired as soon as possible.

Don’t Delay: Seal Leaky Air Ducts

If you experience any of these signs of leaky air ducts, call a local HVAC company. A professional inspection is the fastest way to find damages in ducts. From there, you can have the experts seal holes or cracks, or better yet, add or install new duct insulation.

Either way, the most important thing is not to delay repairing leaky air ducts. This way, you can make your home feel all comfy again.

Ready for more practical home guides like this? Browse our recent blog posts.

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