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Duct Sealing In-Depth: How it can Help You

by Denver Plumbing, HVAC and Electrical
Interior of an air duct.

Ducts are one of those things that are both very important, and consistently ignored by most people. A lot of attention is paid to maintaining air conditioning and heating systems, which is good, but not at the expense of the health of your ductwork. The ducts are like the lungs of your climate control systems. If they’re in really poor condition, it’s going to hurt your climate control far more than you may realize. Fortunately, there’s a fairly simple way to keep your ducts operating at peak efficiency.

Duct sealing is a common process used to patch small-to-moderate leaks in the ductwork. Duct leaks are responsible for massive output losses in the average home, up to 30% in some cases. Many homeowners don’t realize what a massive impact leaky ducts can have on the efficiency of their systems. With duct sealing, though, that lost output can be returned to the system.

How Duct Sealing Works

The specifics of duct sealing will vary slightly, depending on the contractor performing the service and what kind of condition the ducts are in. For the purposes of this post, we’re going to skip the part about actually finding the leaks in the ductwork. That requires duct testing, which should precede all duct sealing efforts anyway.

Once the leaks have been identified, it’s time to start sealing them. The most common method for doing this is a substance called mastic. Mastic is a kind of putty that is applied to the duct leak from the outside, and then carefully shaped to form a tight seal. Once the seal is properly formed, the mastic will dry and harden. Mastic is able to bend and flex with the ducts, to a point, while still keeping the leak sealed. But, if there is concern that the mastic seal might crack, it may be taped over with regulation metallic duct tape. This is tape with an ultrathin layer of metal in it, to help it more thoroughly seal the leak. The kind of duct tape that you are likely familiar with, ironically enough, is actually sub-par for duct sealing because it lacks the stiffness of the other variety.

Scheduling Duct Sealing

Duct sealing is one of those things that you should definitely have done, but perhaps not every year. New leaks do form in the ductwork over time, so sealing them once and forgetting about it won’t solve the problem permanently. Still, most duct sealing solutions can last up to a decade before needing to be redone. If you’re not quite sure how often to have your ducts sealed, or whether you need them sealed at all, it’s always a good idea to have a professional come examine your ducts. They’ll be able to recommend a solution based on your specific needs, which is always going to be better than trying to make the decision yourself without knowing the condition of your ductwork.

Bell Plumbing and Heating offers a full range of duct sealing services in Denver, CO. Contact us today for an appointment.

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