A home relies on a heating duct to distribute warm or heated air inside the house – a process that is necessary especially during cold months. Since the heating duct requires the movement of air in order to maximize the heating effect, the duct should be free from air leaks. When a certain point in the heating duct system is broken or damaged, the airflow capacity is decreased, resulting in higher energy costs.
Common Causes of Decreased Air Flow Capacity
One of the common causes of air flow capacity decrease is poor installation. When a heating duct has been installed without ensuring that the joints are well sealed and secured, it will cause air to leak. Another cause is periodical damage. Due to constant and long use, the heating ducts may develop cracks or holes. This is the reason why they need to be inspected once in a while to ensure that they are in good shape.
Another probable cause of decreased air flow capacity is poor insulation or no insulation. After a heater has been installed, secured, and sealed, it needs to be insulated to allow it to maximize its heating effect. The insulation is also an added sealing effect in case the heating duct material gets punctured or damaged on the interior.
When the heating system inside a house is losing its efficiency, it is important to check the heating ducts for damages and leaks. This can be done as a DIY task or by a hired professional. Leaks should be repaired as soon as possible. To repair the leaks, one option is to seal them with mastic or any other effective sealer. Check the joints as well if they have been fitted properly. Loose fittings cause air to leak as well.
Insulating the Ducts
Another way to improve airflow and save on costs is by insulating the ducts properly. If the ducts run in unheated areas, then they must be insulated to prevent heat loss. Poor insulation causes the air to lose its desired heat and therefore makes the heating system less efficient. In order to insulate the whole duct, all joints should be sealed with mastic. If the joints are well sealed, the air flow will be carried on a maximum level. After the sealing process, the duct should be wrapped in insulating material such as fiberglass, foam, etc.
Cleaning the Ducts
Cleaning the ducts is another way of improving air flow. It also enhances the quality of air that comes into the interior of the home. Over time, the ducts will be filled with dust and other debris and will need cleaning. Cleaning the ducts will get rid of the dust and dirt, reduce molds, decrease energy costs, provide better air quality, and enhance air flow capacity. The cleaning process can be carried out by a professional or by the homeowner himself. Since most heating ducts are located in hard-to-reach areas, it is best to have it cleaned by experts.