Heating and cooling are one of the largest expenses for Baltimore homeowners, making up nearly half of a homeowner’s energy use. It’s a big expense, and many homes lose a lot of that conditioned air through air duct leaks. Yet, ductwork is the least-noticed part of your HVAC system. That’s why it’s the secret way to save energy and money.
Believe it or not, duct leakage is one of the three energy wasters in most homes. The other two are air leakage and cable TV set-top boxes. So just how much money is duct leakage costing you? Well, according to researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, duct systems leak on average about 10% of the supply air they move and 12% of the return air.
The U.S. Department of Energy and the Electric Power Research Institute put this loss in terms of heating and cooling energy output. According to the DOE and the Electric Power Research, duct leakage is responsible for the loss of as much as 40% of the heating and cooling energy put out by HVAC systems.
So how much money is that?
In Montgomery, Prince Georges, Anne Arundel, and Howard County, the typical homeowner spends as much as $2,200 per year on home energy costs. In most homes, up to twenty percent of that energy is lost. A simple full-duct analysis of your home’s HVAC system saves you money!
Air leaks dramatically affect the comfort level within your home. Plus, they decrease the efficiency of your system, increase your utility bills, and cause you to waste a large amount of energy. Air leaks that trap warm or cool air in your home’s attic, basement, and/or walls can account for nearly 50% of the HVAC system’s energy loss.
Leaks in your duct system can also create an unhealthy environment for you and your family. They bring dust, mold spores, insulation fibers, and other pollutants and contaminants into the living spaces of your home.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ranked indoor air pollution among the top five environmental dangers. Beyond common contaminants in your home that affect your indoor air quality, leaky ductwork effects it too.
When your ductwork isn’t properly sealed, it pulls contaminants in and allows conditioned air to escape. These contaminants then spread throughout your home.
Duct sealing reduces duct leakage, improve energy efficiency, and help better IAQ.
Duct sealing isn’t as easy as grabbing some caulk.
“The ducts need to be tested prior to any sealing to make sure they are properly sized for the required airflow needed for each room,” explains Rob Minnick, CEO/ President at Minnick’s Inc. “Sealing without confirmation of properly sized ducts can do more harm than good.”
That’s why you should hire a professional, like Minnick’s, to stop your energy loss.
It starts with an energy audit. Minnick’s Energy Audit tests your home’s performance. The audit detects hidden air leaks in your ductwork and beyond.
A full duct analysis can quickly identify hot and cold spots in your home. Through specific calculations and room measurements, you will be able to see your complete HVAC system performance and compare it side-by-side with its rated performance.
After all, you want to receive the BTU’s you paid for and ensure they are being efficiently delivered to each room in your home. Through thorough testing of your system’s ductwork, you will be able to target the weak spots in your system and restore them to optimal performance.
Testing for these leaks will help technicians determine (1) where the leaks are and (2) the best way to fix them so that your family is safe and you are not wasting any money or energy.
- Comfort: Duct sealing can help correct common comfort problems.
- Health: Leaks in your duct system can create an unhealthy environment for you and your family. They bringing dust, mold spores, insulation fibers, and other pollutants and contaminants into the living spaces of your home.
- Money: Leaky ducts reduce HVAC system efficiency.