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How to Know Your Ductwork Needs Sealing: Signs to Watch For

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Brandon Kirk

Brandon Kirk

Brandon Kirk is the owner of Planet Duct-Air Duct Cleaning. As a NADCA Certified Air-Duct Cleaning Specialist, he has extensive experience servicing air ducts in El Paso County and the Southern CO region since 2019.

Unlike us, you probably don’t spend your days thinking about ductwork. Residential ductwork is often hidden away in attics or basements, so you don’t notice when it starts deteriorating.  Damaged and leaky air ducts can let all sorts of things into your HVAC system, including dust, debris, and moisture. Plus, they cost you more in utilities. Energy Star estimates that 20-30% of your home’s conditioned air is lost due to leaks.

Duct sealing is a great way to repair and restore your home’s HVAC system. So our duct cleaning experts at Planet Duct wanted to share a few ways to tell your ductwork needs sealing without crawling around in the attic.

1. Your home doesn’t heat and cool evenly.

Have you ever noticed that some rooms in your house are always warmer or cooler than others? You may find yourself turning up the temperature when you’re on one side of the house, only to turn it back down later. Ducts that are not properly sealed can cause air leakage, so hot and cold air isn’t distributed evenly throughout your home.

These causes your HVAC system to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature, resulting in higher energy bills and potential system failure. If you can’t get each room to maintain a comfortable temperature no matter what, it might be time to contact a duct sealing professional.

2. You hear strange noises coming from the vents.

When air ducts are not properly sealed, they allow air to escape. This creates a pressure vacuum that, in turn, leads to various noises. These noises range from whistling or hissing sounds to rattling or banging and can be quite noticeable and disruptive. They are typically heard when the HVAC is turned on, as air rushes through the ductwork.

Never let strange HVAC noises go unchecked. Even if they aren’t caused by a leak, you could have a larger problem that’s causing damage to your system.

3. Your energy bills are too high.

If your monthly energy bills are abnormally high, it’s worth investigating the potential causes of that price increase.  Many homeowners are surprised to learn that poorly sealed ducts can contribute to higher energy bills by allowing air to escape. 

This means your HVAC system is working harder than it should be to maintain a comfortable temperature inside the home, leading to increased energy usage and, consequently, higher bills. One duct sealant company estimates that the average homeowner saves 20-30% on their utility bills after duct sealing.

4. You feel drafts coming from the vents.

A person's hand by an HVAC vent

Do you feel air coming from the vents when your HVAC system isn’t running? That’s a sure sign of leakage that needs to be addressed. Drafts coming from the vents can be caused by several issues, including improper insulation, poor construction techniques, or worn-out ducts.

Whatever the cause, it’s essential to address these issues quickly, as drafts can lead to energy loss and comfort issues. In winter months, drafts can pull cold air from outside into your home, which can make it challenging to maintain a comfortable temperature inside.

5. You notice musty or strange smells when your furnace or AC runs.

Strange smells emanating from your HVAC system when it is running can be another indication of duct leaks. Ductwork that is damaged or improperly sealed can cause unwanted pollutants, dust, and chemicals to enter your home, in addition to allowing air to escape. 

The escaped air will then be replenished from outside, which can pull odors and chemicals from various sources into your home. This can result in unpleasant or strong smells, making the air in your home smelly and unhealthy.

6. Your ductwork is more than ten years old.

Even if you don’t notice any of the above signs, it’s still a good idea to have your ductwork sealed if it is more than ten years old. Over time, small cracks and leaks can develop in ducts due to age or wear and tear from use. These small holes may not be noticeable initially but will eventually lead to energy loss and other comfort issues. 

Having your ducts sealed every ten years is a good way to ensure that your HVAC system runs as efficiently as possible.

Request a Duct Sealing Estimate from Planet Duct

Sealing your ducts is a crucial step to ensure the efficiency and longevity of your HVAC system. So don’t delay — contact Planet Duct today to receive a free estimate for our professional duct sealing services. We carry two top-of-the-line duct sealing products guaranteed to make your home ship healthier and more efficient.