Heat Duct Leaks

By Robert Robillard on Energy Saving

Air Leaks In HVAC Duck Work

Our home’s ducts are a common source of energy losses. Heat duct leaks are inevitable but can be significantly reduced.

According to Energy Star, Heat duct leaks and HVAC leaks reduce heating and cooling system efficiency by as much as 20%. Sealing and insulating ducts increases efficiency, lowers energy bills, and can have a pay off in a few years.

Check Your Ducks For Leak

Look for sections that are separated (when they should be joined), and look for possible cracks and holes these areas are major sources of heat duct leaks.

Common Duct Problems:

1. Leaky, torn and disconnected ducts
2. Poorly sealed registers and grills
3. Leaks at the furnace and filter slot
4. Kinks in flexible duct work restricting airflow.

Duct Insulation

Duct insulation is a very cost effective investment, and should be installed on ducts located in unconditioned areas such as attics or basements.

NOTE – Insulation will not stop or prevent heat duct leaks.  Insulation makes your duck work retain its heat or cool air more efficiently and prevents heat / cooling loss in areas not designed to receive air conditioning.


Seal Heat Duct Leaks

  1. Seal air leaks with mastic of metal [aluminum] tape.
  2. Make sure that connections at vents, and registers are well sealed where they meet floors, walls and ceilings.
  3. Have a professional contractor evaluate air flow after repairs are completed.
  4. Have them ensure there is no back drafting of gas or oil-burning appliances, and conduct a combustion safety test after ducts are sealed. Evaluate the system’s supply and return air balance. Many systems have air return ducts that are too small.

Taking just a few of these steps listed to reduce heat duct leaks can be a straightforward project and a DIY project.

Consider A Home Energy Audit

A home energy audit is used to assess how much energy your home consumes and to evaluate what measures you can take to make your home more energy efficient.  An audit will show you problem areas in your home. These areas, if corrected, can save you hundred of dollars in heating and cooling savings over time.

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzzr As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising-the-bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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