How do you fix a leaking air duct?

Technician Cleaning Air Ducts After Completing Home Air Duct Sealing

Understanding the Air Ducts in Your Home

Does your home seem impossible to keep warm or cool? Are there strange smells lingering even after your HVAC system has turned off? When this is happening in your home, it may be an indication of an air duct leak. This means that hot or cool air is escaping from your ductwork and not ending up in the rooms it needs to be. It also means that your HVAC system is having to work overtime trying to compensate for the loss of air. If you are concerned about a leak, contact R & M Heating and Cooling to schedule an appointment for home air duct sealing in Huntsville, AL. We’re available now at (256) 763-7535.

Person Checking Vent During Home Air Duct Sealing Process

Signs of an Air Duct Leak

“How do I find a leak in my air duct?” It’s the question we hear most often from customers dealing with HVAC issues. There are several things that you may have already noticed that could indicate an air duct leak.

  • Dust Everywhere: While it isn’t an indication of a leak, high amounts of dust can lead to serious issues with your ductwork. Dust, pet hair, and more can clog vents and ducts preventing consistent air flow. Scheduling regular air duct cleaning and sealing can prevent that.
  • Low Air Quality: If there is a tear or compromised connection, outside air can be pulled into your home. If there are chemicals or waste nearby, it can increase the health risk of your home. Plus, it probably won’t smell that great. Pay attention to foul odors that may start appearing in your home.
  • Discomfort: Are there several rooms that just seem impossible to heat or cool? This is a sure indicator of a duct leak. Hot or cold air is escaping from the general path which means it’s not making it to the rooms you need it to be in.
  • High Energy Bills: Another clear indication of a ductwork leak is higher energy bills. When air is escaping, it can linger in the walls. This can cause your home to either stay really warm or really cold, which will result in your HVAC system having to work double time to regulate the temperatures in your space.

Once you have identified a leak, the next step to take is air duct sealing. Before that can happen though, you need to figure out where the leak is occurring. Scheduling an inspection with an HVAC company, like R & M Heating and Cooling, to check your ducts is the best place to start. Just like when you need roof repair, you schedule an inspection to determine the amount of damage before making any repairs.

Air Duct Repair and Sealing

When it comes time to repair and seal the ductwork, there are several options. If you, the homeowner, finds the tear you can use duct mastic tape to create a temporary fix. This will prevent air from leaking out, but it won’t be a permanent hold. A permanent fix would be to replace the ductwork or to use a sealant. In either case, it’s best to let a professional HVAC technician handle that.

Experienced technicians will be able to efficiently complete air duct sealing from the inside, which is where the sealant patch needs to be. That will ensure the most accurate coverage of any tear or hole. That being said, if the tear is bigger than ¼ inch, sealant won’t be enough to correct the issue. Your technician can test this by fixing the tear, then running the air to see if your ducts will hold up. If it does, then you’ll be good to go. If not, your technician will need to do a bit more to completely fix the problem. Should you chose to work with anyone from R & M Heating and Cooling, we make sure to use the correct sealant or combination of tape and sealant to expertly correct any damage to your ductwork.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What do you use to seal ductwork?
    • You would use anything that is used to seal ductwork like a sealant or duct tape. It’s important that the air duct sealer you use is meant for that kind of use, otherwise it won’t work as effectively.
  • How do I stop condensation in my air ducts?
    • Having proper ventilation in your attic and home will help reduce the humidity, which can cause condensation buildup. Also make sure the ducts are installed a few feet apart so air can effectively flow between them.
  • What kind of tape do you use for ductwork?
    • You don’t want to use the general duct tape you can find in most stores on your air ducts. To provide a temporary seal, you’ll want to use what is known as duct mastic tape.
  • How long does duct sealant take to dry?
    • If the sealant you are using is water based, it will take about 2 to 4 hours to dry completely.
Shot of Collection of Air Ducts

Connect With R & M Heating and Cooling When You Call (256) 763-7535!

When you are worried about an air duct leak in your home, rely on R & M Heating and Cooling. We’re available at (256) 763-7535 to discuss home air duct sealing in Huntsville, AL and in the surrounding areas.