About Me

Preparing for My Dream Home

My husband and I have spent a lot of time consulting with an architect. After living in our cramped, starter home for the past 11 years, we were finally ready to make some needed changes to it. We have added an extra 600 square feet of space onto our house. Before the construction began, we finalized the plans for our new heating and air conditioning unit with our HVAC contractor. Because our home was going to be substantially bigger than it is now, we purchased a larger HVAC system. We also installed a new, digital thermostat inside my home. On this blog, I hope you will discover the best types of HVAC units to buy for mid-size homes. Enjoy!


Preparing for My Dream Home

3 Simple Ways To Check For Air Duct Leakage

by Rita Richardson

Your home's heating and air conditioning system relies on a series of ducts to deliver heated or cooled air throughout your living space. If one of these ducts springs a leak, your heating and cooling system becomes less efficient. Being vigilant when it comes to watching for air duct leaks is essential for homeowners today.

Here are three simple things you can do to help you identify duct leakage in the future.

1. Use a manometer to measure the air pressure within your home.

Leaks in your home's air ducts can create unbalanced air pressure inside your home. Using an instrument known as a manometer can be a simple way to test for unbalanced air delivery. All you need to do is measure the outdoor air pressure using the manometer, then turn on your heating and cooling system's blower and measure the air pressure inside your home.

Differences in the two readings signal an imbalance between the return and supply air pressures, which can usually be attributed to a leaking air duct. Contact an HVAC professional to locate the leak(s), and you will be on your way to restoring balanced air pressure and delivery inside your home once again.

2. Conduct a smoke test.

Introducing smoke to your HVAC system can be a great way to spot any leaks in your home's ductwork. Specialized products that release smoke without introducing a flame can be introduced into your heating and cooling system through the air intake. 

Be sure that you are using twice as much smoke as the volume of your test area to ensure you can easily spot leakage. Using a flashlight to peek through crawl spaces where ductwork is located allows you to visually inspect for signs of smoke leaking out of the ducts and into the crawlspace. If you see smoke, then you have leaks that should be addressed by a qualified HVAC professional.

3. Check for spikes in your heating and cooling costs.

When your home's air ducts begin to leak, your HVAC system must work harder to maintain a constant temperature within your living space. Experts estimate that somewhere between 20% and 30% of the air moving through a typical home's duct system is lost due to leakage.

If you notice spikes in your monthly heating and cooling costs, these could be attributed to leaking air ducts that are placing added strain on your HVAC system. Contact a repair professional to address these leaks, and your monthly utility costs should return to normal.

Checking for air duct leakage doesn't have to be difficult. Use a manometer to check pressure differences, use smoke to identify leaks, and watch for spikes in your utility bill to determine if air leaks are plaguing your heating and cooling system. Contact a professional that handles heating repair for more information.