Most homeowners know to prepare their heating systems for winter, instead of just expecting them to perform properly during the most stressful time of year without any warm up. While people are pretty good at getting their heating systems professional maintenance, however, they are not nearly as vigilant when it comes to their ducts. Let’s take a look at duct sealing, and why it’s so important.
The primary reason that you need duct sealing is duct leaks. Ducts are incredibly vulnerable to leaks. From mistakes made during installation, to years of normal use, the average home has at least a few duct leaks. While individual duct leaks tend to be small, they add up very quickly. The US Department of Energy has estimated that the average forced air system loses up to 30% of its total output to duct leaks. That’s nearly a third of the total output you pay for that’s going to waste. Duct leaks make your heating system less efficient, your home less comfortable, and cost you money. This is why duct sealing is so important.
Duct sealing involves painting over the leaks in your ducts with a substance called mastic. Mastic is a type of viscous epoxy that, once dry, can seal the leak and flex with the ducts without cracking. This is usually sufficient to seal the leak, although sometimes technicians choose to supplement the mastic with regulation duct tape. This is duct tape with a very thin layer of metal in it, which makes it ideal for sealing ducts. Normal duct tape is, ironically, actually terrible for sealing ducts. You should have your ducts sealed at least once a year in order to address any new leaks that form.