Air ducts distribute heat and air conditioning throughout your home. Oftentimes, they have gaps in their connections, allowing the conditioned air to leak out before it makes its way to certain rooms. That’s where sealing comes in. Sealing your air ducts can do wonders for your home’s energy efficiency and comfort. Let’s take a closer look at how to seal exposed ductwork.
Why Seal Ducts
While most homeowners don’t think about sealing their air ducts, it’s essential if energy efficiency is a priority. Not only do leaky ducts waste energy, they may even suck harmful pollutants into your HVAC system and circulate them throughout your home. By sealing your air ducts, you can prevent these issues from occurring in the first place. You may also balance the air temperature and improve the air quality.
Steps to Seal Leaky Air Ducts
Fortunately, you don’t have to hire a professional to fix exposed ducts. This is a simple DIY project you can tackle, even if you’re not very handy. Here’s what you need to do:
1. Gather Materials
First, collect the materials you’ll need for duct sealing, including:
- Aerosol sealant product and sprayer
- Foam rubber
- Blower fan
- HVAC foil tape
- Tool for a pressurized blower test
2. Remove Vent Covers
Next, you’ll need to take the covers off the supply and return the vents of your HVAC system. This will allow you to easily access the ducts for sealing.
3. Clean the Ducts
Once you have access to the ducts, remove any dust, dirt, pet dander, and other debris that have clumped inside of them. Make sure you clean as thoroughly as possible.
4. Cover Vent Openings
After you’re finished cleaning, cover the openings for the pressure test. Use foam rubber and HVAC foil tape to close them off.
5. Perform a Pressure Test
Once the vent openings are sealed, it’s time to run the pressure test. Add air to the ducts with a blower fan.
6. Measure Air Pressure
Calculate the inside pressure of the vents with a special tool. If the pressure slowly but surely decreases, air leaks are present.
7. Apply Aerosol Sealer
Apply a thin, smooth layer of rubber sealant inside the air ducts. Be careful and don’t apply too much or you’ll create lumps, which may disturb airflow and cause your system to work harder than it needs to.
8. Recheck for Leaks
Once you apply the first coat of the sealant, perform the pressure test again with your tool. If the pressure is constant, you’ve sealed all the ducts successfully. However, if it drops, you still have work to do.
9. Apply More Sealant If Necessary
If you’ve found leaks in the step above, apply a second coat of sealant evenly and smoothly. Re-check the pressure to make sure all of the holes have been adequately sealed.
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Written by: Anna Baluch
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