Keeping Your Cool - Doing Your Own A/C Ductwork
By Chuck Lunsford
We rarely give our homes A/C and heating ductwork much thought and really only notice a problem when the heat stops working and
It's 10-below or the temperature outside is causing the asphalt on the roads to melt. Unfortunately that's when most of us learn about
One of the most important systems in the home. Though it's hidden beneath your feet and over your head, it may be wasting a lot of
Your energy dollars. Your home's air ducting system, a branching network of tubes in the walls, floors, and ceilings, carries the air
From your home's furnace and central air conditioner to each room. Ducts are typically made of sheet metal in more recent times and
Fiberglass or other materials being found in some older homes.
Unfortunately due to poor installation techniques and lower standards of quality, many duct systems are poorly insulated or not
Insulated properly. Ducts that leak heated air into unheated spaces can add hundreds of dollars a year to your heating and cooling
Bills. Insulating ducts that are in unconditioned spaces is usually very cost effective. If you are buying a new duct system, consider
One that comes with insulation already installed.
Sealing your ducts to prevent leaks is even more important if the ducts are located in an unconditioned area such as an attic or
Vented crawl space. If the supply ducts are leaking, heated or cooled air can be forced out unsealed joints and lost. In addition,
unconditioned air can also be drawn into return ducts through unsealed joints. In the summer, hot attic air can be drawn in, increasing
the load on the air conditioner. In the winter, your furnace will have to work longer to keep your house comfortable. Either way, your
energy losses cost you money.
Although minor duct repairs are easy to accomplish, ducts in unconditioned spaces should be sealed and insulated by qualified
professionals using the appropriate sealing materials. Here are a few simple tips to help with minor duct repairs.
Helpful Tips and Hints
Check your ducts for air leaks. First look for sections that should be joined but have separated and then look for obvious holes.
If you use duct tape to repair and seal your ducts, look for tape with the Underwriters Laboratories logo to avoid tape that degrades,
cracks, and loses its bond with age.
Remember that insulating ducts in the basement will make the basement colder. If both the ducts and the basement walls are
uninsulated, consider insulating the basement walls and the ducts.
Be sure a well-sealed vapor barrier exists on the outside of the insulation on cooling ducts to prevent moisture buildup.
Get a professional to help you insulate and repair all ducts.
I hope this article provides some help when the heat is on =).
Chuck Lunsford is a successful Webmaster and publisher of JustGoDoItYourself.com. He provides more tips and advice on accomplishing do it yourself duct workin the home.
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