How Can I Tell If My Air Ducts Are Leaking?

A potted herb garden by the kitchen window.

Have you ever had a damaged straw with a hole or two in it, and you tried to drink from it unaware of its defects? Not much of your drink actually made it to your mouth, as it leaked from the straw. This concept is the same for leaky air ducts in your home. If your ductwork has leaks or poor seals, your HVAC system’s airflow will be both compromised and diminished because of the leaking air, leaving you with a host of issues. At KCA SERVICES, once we repair or replace our customers’ inadequate ductwork, their original issues are resolved. 

But how can you tell if you have leaky air ducts?

In addition to visually and physically inspecting all your ducts, there are some telltale signs indicating your ducts may be leaking air and costing you money. By addressing them, you can save money, protect your health, and improve your home’s comfort.

Unexplained higher energy bills.

Naturally, our energy bills increase incrementally every year. But if you notice a sharp increase in your bills, leaky air ducts could be the culprit. Leaking air via your air ducts affects your system’s efficiency––causing your system to work harder, thereby using more energy. More energy equals higher bills. Getting your leaking air ducts repaired or replaced will save you money in the long run.

Uneven heating and/or cooling throughout your home.

If you’ve ever walked through different areas of your San Antonio, TX, home during the cooler months and felt pockets of heated areas yet other areas are still cool, this could very well be due to leaky air ducts. With leaking air, you can experience limited airflow causing some rooms to feel stuffy or have both hot and cold areas simultaneously. Having an HVAC technician address this will improve your comfort levels inside your home.

Difficulty heating rooms in winter and cooling them in summer.

Closely tied to the symptom above, having difficulty actually heating or cooling rooms is another sign you could have leaking air ducts. It does not matter how energy efficient your heating and cooling are, if you have leaky ducts, your conditioned air cannot get to you. 

Excessive amount of dust in your home.

Everyone has dust in their homes. But if you find yourself needing to dust again immediately after already dusting, you could have leaky air ducts. With leaks in your ductwork, escaped nonfiltered air finds its way throughout your home, carrying the dust it’s picked up from your home and your ducts and planting it where it lands. No matter how often you change your HVAC filter, you can still have this issue until the leaks are repaired.

Duct visual indications––rusted, crushed, kinked, old tape at seals.

If you were to take a tour of all your ductwork, you might notice areas of the ducts that have issues. Check out anything looking rusted, crushed, or kinked. More than likely you could have an air leak at these areas. Also, examine where your ducts have seals. If the tape looks old or cracked, you more than likely have an issue there as well. Sometimes these ducts only need spot repairs instead of replacing. Call one of our professional HVAC technicians to take a look and let you know the best plan of action for your home.

Poor indoor air quality (IAQ).

In an article in The Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration News, according to Sam Rashkin from the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE), “It’s a big deal when the ducts leak. Basic research from DoE uncovered that about 30 to 40 percent of the air traveling through ducts leaks. If they’re pulling air from a dirty crawlspace, that’s going to affect the IAQ. It introduces dust and bugs. It’s not just energy––it’s comfort and durability.” You can see how bad air negatively affects your home’s air quality. It can definitely add to or create allergens and chronic illnesses. Be sure to have a professional check your ducts if you find yourself ill a lot or your allergies acting up while you are at home.

Having leaking air ducts in your home is a much bigger issue than you may think. It affects your wallet, your home, and your health. Contact us at KCA SERVICES at 210-698-8520 to schedule an analysis today.

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