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How Duct Leaks Are Costing You $200 Per Year

Woman with bob haircut, wearing a white collared shirt and glasses with her husband whose wearing a burnt orange t-shirt reviewing bills together

Duct leaks can increase energy bills.

Are your energy bills too high for your comfort? One of the major causes of increased energy bills is leaky air ducts.

Holes and loosened joints in ductwork allow for heated or cooled air to escape through the cracks, decreasing your HVAC system’s efficiency by 20% to 30%. When your HVAC system isn’t as efficient as it could be, it consumes more power, driving up energy costs. Not to mention, the system is wasting energy heating or cooling areas of your home that don’t need it, like your attic.

How can you fix a duct leak? Sealing your ductwork can help you save almost $200 a year on total energy costs.

In this blog, we’ll explain more about how leaky ducts can increase your monthly utility bills. We’ll also review how you can tell if you might have holes or cracks in your ductwork beyond higher energy costs.

Want a professional duct inspection and sealing service? Contact George Brazil.

Since 1955, George Brazil has continually provided Phoenix homeowners with honest and reliable service. If you’re concerned about leaky air ducts, contact us today, and we’ll send a licensed and highly-trained technician to inspect your home and HVAC system. Then, we’ll recommend duct sealing solutions with clear and upfront pricing. You can expect thorough diagnostics, a red-carpet rollout, and flexible financing options. Call us at (602) 842-0009!

How Duct Leaks Increase Your Energy Bills

Every home’s ductwork system has two types of air ducts:

  • Return ducts: These ducts suck in warm air from the home into the AC system.
  • Supply ducts: These ducts blow out cool air into the home.

Both types of ducts can leak but in different ways.

Return Duct Leakage

Illustrations showing warm attic air being pulled into an HVAC system due to return duct leakage.

Leaks in return ducts can force your HVAC system to work harder.

Return ducts, which draw in air, are often in areas like the attic that don’t have air conditioning or heating. If they have holes in them, the extra warm air in the unconditioned attic or the extra cold air in the unheated attic will end up going into the return ducts. Consequently, the return ducts will bring in a higher temperature, forcing your HVAC system to work harder and longer to reach your desired temperature.

Supply Duct Leakage

Return duct leakage with cooled air mixing with warm attic air.

Leaks in supply ducts can decrease the amount of heated or cooled air delivered to your home.

On the other hand, supply ducts, which supply heated or cooled air to your home, can also be affected by leaky air ducts. If they have holes in them, your HVAC system will expel energy to heat or cool air that ends up escaping before it has a chance to be dispersed throughout your home. Worse, your HVAC system will then run longer to reach your desired temperature.

Duct sealing will help decrease your energy bills and can be worth it for other benefits such as:

  • Improved energy efficiency
  • Improved home comfort
  • Healthier air quality
  • Qualifying for a $400 rebate from SRP

Read more about the above in our blog, “Is Duct Sealing Worth It?”

Signs of a Duct Leak

The main sign that your home might have leaky ductwork is higher-than-normal energy bills, even if your usage remains the same.

Other signs include:

Certain areas/rooms won’t properly cool down or heat up:

Wooden miniature house on top of a blueprint

Duct leaks create uneven temperatures.

Holes, gaps, or cracks in your supply ducts mean that conditioned or heated 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 heating or cooling than others. So, you might notice some rooms in your home are colder or warmer than the rest because they aren’t getting the same treatment.

AC system taking longer to cool or heat your home:

Frustrated man overheating and holding a cold water bottle to his forehead

Is your AC taking too long to cool your home?

If there are leaks in your return ducts, your AC system will pull in more humid and unfiltered air, which will cause the evaporator coil to become dirty and clogged. Evaporator coils contain refrigerant, which absorbs heat from your home’s indoor air to be dumped outside. Coils covered in debris prevent the refrigerant from absorbing and dumping heat well, slowing down the cooling process.

Your home is more humid than normal:

Mold growing on the ceiling and walls of a house.

Mold spots can occur due to duct leaks.

While Arizona is a desert, it does get humid sometimes. Leaks in your home’s return ducts can cause higher indoor humidity levels. AC systems can cool and strip humidity from indoor air but cannot keep up with properly dehumidifying air if too much humid attic air has entered the return ducts. Over time, if your home stays too humid, it can lead to issues like minor mold growth, bug infestations, and other health problems. Resolving mold requires hiring a mold remediation company and can be a pricey service.

Excessive dust in the home:

Dust buildup in an air duct with holes.

Duct leaks can cause an excessively dusty home.

As mentioned above, leaks in your return ducts pull in dust and other debris from your attic. Anything that makes its way into the return ducts gets pushed into the supply ducts and, eventually, your home. If your home is excessively dusty despite frequent cleaning, you most likely have leaks in your return ducts. Or you might have unexplained allergies or respiratory problems. On top of duct sealing, it’s good to have your ducts thoroughly cleaned.

Book with George Brazil for a return and supply duct inspection and sealing.

HVAC technician repairing a leaky duct in an attic space.

Over the last seven decades, George Brazil has been a mainstay for Phoenix homeowners for reliable and honest HVAC services. We offer both duct cleanings and duct sealings. They come with flexible financing options, same-day appointments, and a red-carpet rollout for superior customer service. Contact us today to see why we’ve earned over two thousand 5-star reviews and a Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Ethics! Call us at (602) 842-0009!

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