Winter is here, and if you aren’t already using your heating system on a daily basis you soon will be. You’ve probably already had your system professionally checked to make sure that it’s ready for the added stress of winter. However, what have you done to ensure that your ducts are ready for the heating season? Read on to find out more about why sealing your ducts for winter is a good idea.
The Problem of Duct Leaks
Air ducts may seem pretty sturdy, but they’re exactly the opposite. Many ducts have leaks as a result of mistakes made during installation. Even those that make it through their installation entirely intact tend to develop leaks over years of normal use. While these leaks are often small (though not always) they can still have a massive cumulative effect on your climate control efficiency. The U.S. Department of Energy has estimated that a forced air system loses as much as 30% of its total output to duct leaks. You may not realize it, but you could be wasting nearly a third of your total heating output every time you turn on your system. All of that output still needs to be paid for, so you could be wasting quite a bit of money unnecessarily.
Sealing your ducts tends to involve a substance called mastic, which is painted into the duct leaks and dries. Once dry, the mastic seals the leak but can also flex with the duct without cracking. Occasionally, the mastic is supplemented by regulation duct tape. This is duct tape with a thin layer of metal in it, making it much better at sealing leaks than traditional duct tape. Duct sealing can restore that 30% output to you, making your heating system more effective and end up saving you money.