Signs That Your HVAC Air Ducts Has Leaks

hvac ductwork

Forced-air heating and cooling systems are constructed in a complex manner. Behind the actual HVAC units lies a network of ducts and vents that channel hot or cold air into our homes. In the event that you encounter problems with your HVAC system, it could be that the ductwork is damaged. Leaks in the ductwork are hard to identify. However, if you suspect that your system has a leak, there are signs of leaky air ducts that you can use to diagnose this problem easily.

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Indications Of Leaky HVAC Air Ducts

The information below is about some of the common indications to look out for if you think that your HVAC system has some leaks.

1. Increased Energy Bills

high home heating costs

When your HVAC unit has a leak, it may use more energy than normal in an attempt to compensate for the hot or cold air that is leaking out. Air will not be channeled properly through the air ducts as a result of a leak in the system. Consequently, it inhibits the room temperatures from reaching sufficient or desired levels due to uneven air distribution. To compensate for this disparity, settings are heightened which in turn uses up more energy. If your utility bills are increasing, you might want to check for possible leaks in the ductwork.

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2. Unusual Dustiness

Since leaks in the HVAC system disrupt the regulation and direction of airflow, the presence of dust inside your house may be a sign that there is a leak in the unit. If your family habits have not changed recently but you still notice an unusual accumulation of dust in the house, you have reason to suspect that there might be a leak somewhere. Also, dust may trigger allergies which might harm family members. Therefore, the unusual presence of dust in your house is a good reason to begin investigating the situation.

3. Uneven Temperature Distribution

feeling chilly due to leaky hvac ductwork

Forced-air heating and cooling systems are supposed to distribute conditioned air evenly. In the event that you observe a marked difference in temperatures in different areas of the house, it is a strong sign that there might be a leak. If the rooms on opposite ends of your house have different temperatures, something is not quite right. You cannot miss this one.

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4. Bad Air Quality

HVAC air duct leaks may also disperse toxic air fumes that are harmful to people. It is probable that if the air is pulled from the storage rooms or from outside, it could be filled with toxic fumes or other indoor air pollutants that may find their way into the ductwork through the leaks. Take the time to investigate any unusually strong smells or allergies.

5. Too Many Break Downs

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Although regular HVAC breakdowns are common, there is a need to be concerned if they occur on a newly installed HVAC system. A new HVAC system is supposed to last for a long time provided that it is maintained properly. Leaks in the air ducts can cause HVAC equipment to malfunction which could exacerbate wear and tear. Diagnose the problem early in order to avoid this situation.

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How To Find Leaks In Your HVAC Ductwork

The methods discussed below should help you to locate exactly where the HVAC ductwork leaks might be.

1. Examine The HVAC Ductwork

Examine the ductwork to see if there are any tears and holes. If you spot any problematic areas, simply take a grease pencil and put markings on them. That way, they can be identified quickly when an HVAC technician comes to repair your unit. Chances are that the problem might be worse than you thought.

2. Switch On The Unit All The Way

thermostat and comfort control

Another great way to find leaks in your ductwork is by turning the HVAC unit to the maximum. This will push conditioned air throughout the house. When it is on full blast, it’s easier to spot the temperature variations near the duct tears. With this method, the chances that you will be able to locate all the leaks are very high.

3. Examine The HVAC Duct Joints

These joints are generally weak. As such, if they were not covered well during installation, leaks are likely to develop. In order to see if they are not covered properly, place your hands over the joints to check if conditioned air is being distributed. Examine the joints each time you think there is a leak.

4. Remove Any Duct Tape

image of hvac duct tape

In order to temporarily fix the problem, people tend to use duct tape to stop the leaks. It could be that the previous owner of the house you are currently living in made use of duct tape, but never got to call a technician to attend to the problem.

5. Incense

Light incense can help you to see the leaks more clearly. If you don’t have incense, you can make use of any colorful smoke. If there is a leak in the duck, the smoke near the duck normally whirls differently, allowing you to find the affected parts instantly. This is a good way to spot those leaks that are too small to feel with your hands.

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6. Cover The HVAC Leaks

hvac ductwork repair

As soon as you are done examining the unit, sealing all the ducts should be the next step. But, to make sure that the problem is solved once and for all, contact a professional HVAC technician to come and repair the unit. Not only will the technician seal the leakages permanently, but he will also be able to spot any other leaks which you might have missed.

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7. Test With A Fog Machine

When the leaks have been sealed, look for a fog machine so that you can test the ductwork one more time. The machine will help you to identify the holes that might still be remaining. The machine will be more useful if the larger holes have already been properly sealed. This is because big holes tend to fill the basement and attic with too much smoke. But, as suggested above, the fog machine should be used by an experienced HVAC technician who knows how to locate the leaks which much greater accuracy. They are also skilled at fixing leaking HVAC ductwork so that you will have a properly functioning unit.



The problem you have with your unit might be very different from someone else’s situation. As such, the techniques discussed above will work differently based on a specific situation. Hiring a professional HVAC technician is the best way to go because they know the precise method to use. With their assistance, you can be assured that they will be able to locate all the leaks and seal them properly. That way, you will be able to enjoy the benefits of having a system that works efficiently, including even temperatures, a longer lifespan, reduced energy costs, and improved air quality.

Contact Lawes Company For Expert HVAC Solutions

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Lawes Company offers high-ranking heating and cooling services throughout the area. We only hire certified experienced technicians to assist you with exceptional HVAC servicing, installations, replacements, and repairs. All our technicians have the requisite experience and know-how to service every type of HVAC unit. Our practical solutions will help to enhance your indoor air quality and levels of comfort, as well as the efficiency of your unit.

Lawes Company guarantees the cheapest HVAC services in the area. The maintenance services we have on offer can extend the lifespan of your HVAC unit, as well as lessen the energy bills. We also assist clients working on a budget to find the most affordable but quality HVAC system. To ensure client satisfaction, our services are supported by a guarantee. To make a service appointment, call Lawes Company today. We provide in-home estimates free of charge.

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