The Hidden Leak In Your Home That’s Skyrocketing Your Energy Bills

2017 Aug 24
Posted in: Air Conditioning

There’s one leak in a home that can cost you $200 every year. In fact, the Department of Energy considers this leak the “top energy waster” in a home.

So what’s this massive leak? Leaks in your home’s ductwork.

And the worst part? According to Energy Star, the “typical” home loses 20 to 30% of conditioned air to ductwork leaks. (Translation: your home most likely has duct leakage).

How duct leaks waste precious energy

Your home’s ductwork system is actually split into two different types of ducts:

  • Return ducts. These ducts suck in warm air from your home into the A/C system.
  • Supply ducts. These ducts blow out cool air into your home.

Both types of ducts can (and probably do) have leaks. Return and supply ducts just leak in different ways

Here’s what we mean:

Return duct leakage

Return ducts suck in air. So, if your return ducts have holes and leaks, it means warm, humid air from the attic leaks into the return ducts. And the extra heat and moisture from your attic’s air forces your A/C to work longer and harder to reach your home’s desired temperature.

diagram of return duct leakage: hot, humid air from attic getting pulled into ductwork.

Supply duct leakage

Your supply ducts push cold air out. So, if your supply ducts have holes or leaks, it means cold, conditioned air is leaking out of supply ducts. And the more cold air that leaks out, the less cold air that can get delivered to your home, forcing your A/C to work much longer just to reach your desired temperature.

diagram of supply duct leakage: cold air leaking out of ductwork and into the attic.

Signs of leaky ductwork

Higher-than-normal energy bills

Duct leaks cause your cooling or heating system to work harder and longer. And the longer the system runs, the more energy it uses up which increases your monthly energy bill.

Certain areas/rooms won’t cool or heat

Holes, gaps or cracks in your supply ducts means that conditioned air is lost before it ever reaches its final destination. And depending on where those leaks are, that could mean that one room might get a lot less conditioned air than others.

High indoor humidity

If you have leaks in your return ducts, your system will pull in excessively humid air from your attic. Oftentimes, that air is so humid that your A/C can’t keep up and won’t be able to properly dehumidify the air before it blows into your home. Over time, that makes your home’s humidity levels skyrocket which can lead to:

  • Mold growth
  • Bug infestations
  • Health problems

Excessive dust

a hole in ductwork pulling in dust.
Holes in ductwork, like the one above, suck in dust and debris from your attic and pushes it into your home.

Leaks in your return ducts pull in dust and other debris from your attic. And anything that makes its way into the return ducts also gets pushed into the supply ducts and eventually your home.

So if you notice that your home is excessively dusty and no amount of cleaning, dusting or vacuuming helps, you likely have severe return duct leakage.

Related: Why Does My Home Get So Dust So Fast?

The solution? Duct sealing

According to Energy Star, duct sealing makes your home “more comfortable, energy efficient and safer”. It can also save you 20 to 30% on your monthly energy bills.

When you invest in duct sealing, you ensure that any holes, gaps or cracks in your home’s ductwork is sealed off. This prevents precious conditioned air (that you pay for) from escaping the duct system and wasting your money.

Think you might need duct sealing? Have your ductwork inspected

If you see the signs of leaky ductwork, just contact us.

We can send over a professional to inspect your ductwork and determine whether duct sealing is the best option for your home.

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