How to Detect and Seal Leaking Air Ducts in Your AtticLeaky air ducts in your home HVAC system can account for a significant loss of conditioned air. Air loss can waste energy, reduce the efficiency and effectiveness of your HVAC equipment and drive up your heating and cooling bills. The following guide will help you find and seal leaking air ducts in your attic.

Take safety precautions and enter the attic: Wear appropriate safety gear when you go into your attic. This might include goggles, gloves, a filtering face mask, overalls to protect skin and clothing and heavy work shoes. Be cautious when moving across joists or floor beams.

Find the ductwork: Ductwork will most likely be hidden underneath insulation, so remove or pull back attic insulation to expose the duct pipes. Then, find the connective points in your ductwork, as these are the most likely spots for leaks. Look for broken seals, loose or detached duct sections, or damage to the ductwork.

Feel for leaks: Make sure your HVAC system is moving air through your ducts. Then, take off your gloves, and put your hand near connections and other areas of suspected leaks. If you can feel air coming out of your ducts, you have a leak.

Listen for leaks: Sometimes leaky ducts make whistling noises or other sounds when air is escaping. Listen closely for these sounds.

Look for leaks: Use a smoke pencil to physically check for duct leaks. These devices emit a thin stream of smoke that will move if air is escaping. An incense stick is a great alternative if you don’t have a smoke pencil.

Seal leaks: Make sure all sections of your ductwork fit tightly together. Then, apply mastic tape — a specialized sealant used on ducts — to all connections. If necessary, call your HVAC professional for duct inspection and repair.

Since the company was founded in 1968, Paschal Heat, Air, & Geothermal has been providing top-quality HVAC services to customers in Northwest Arkansas. Contact us today for more information on how to detect and seal leaking air ducts in your attic.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Springdale, Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about sealing leaking air ducts and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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