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Do you have uncomfortable hot or cold rooms in your house, dusty or musty air that aggravates allergies, or high utility bills that leave something to be desired month after month? The bad news: You may have leaky ducts.
The good news: Aeroseal’s duct work sealing technology has helped improve home comfort, overall air quality, and energy savings in homes across the country. When 30 cents of every $1 spent on heating/cooling leaks before making it to your living space, properly sealed ducts make a big difference in savings.
If you’re like most homeowners – dusting is not one of your favorite chores (are any chores fun?). We all like to give it the old “college try” and hit our tabletops, television, and maybe even our picture frames on a weekly basis. But, take a minute right now — look up at your return grilles then look down at your supply grilles. Yuck, right? Don’t feel bad – lots of people have the same dusty, grimy register covers in their homes. So why is this forgotten area of your housekeeping so important?
Have you ever noticed all of the “icky” debris from your vacuum when you empty the canister or change the bag?
Have you ever broken your vacuum cleaner bag as you were disposing it or looked at canister of debris before dumping it? This should provide an accurate picture of what type of air the typical homeowner is breathing in their homes.
Every home’s duct work leaks! Every time your furnace runs more things are sucked into your duct work. Things like dust, pet hair, cooking grease, cigarette smoke, and other debris that will stay in your duct work – until they eventually break down and are released back into the air stream for you and your family to breathe.
“Most homeowners simply have no idea of how much dust, dirt, and debris the duct system harbors, according to Brendan Reid, Founder of Comfort Institute and Senior Success Coach . Since the air ducts are out of sight they are often out of mind”. As a reminder, about 50 percent of household dust is from dead skins cells which we constantly are shedding.
Sealing your ductwork not only improves indoor air quality by reducing dust and allergens, but can make you more comfortable in your home by reducing hot and cold spots, rooms, and floors in your house. We suggest using the Aeroseal process, but other forms of duct sealing can be effective.
A few recommendations for breathing healthier air in your home are sealing your duct work before you purchase a new heating and cooling system, clean your duct work every 3-5 years, and have a good air filter that you change according to manufacturer’s recommendations. This combination will help reduce household dust and keep the system running efficiently.
Your furnace, heat pump or air conditioner is the heart of your comfort system.
It’s often said that your furnace, heat pump or air conditioner is the heart of your comfort system. Following the analogy further, your air ducts are its veins & arteries.
And just like high blood pressure is bad for your heart, high “duct static pressure” is bad for your heating and cooling system, your comfort – and your wallet.
When you go to the doctor for a check-up, common practice is for the doctor or nurse to measure your blood pressure. Our service technicians now have the instruments and training to do the same for your ducts when we do the seasonal tune-up, or a home and duct performance assessment.
We’ve been doing this for a while now, and the results are often eye-opening. The heating and cooling equivalent to 80 over 120 is “half an inch” of water column pressure for most systems. When we test the duct pressure, we now routinely find pressures significantly higher than this –often over double!
Why does this matter?
Higher Utility Bills: High pressures in the ducts leads to lower airflow. Lower airflow means lower efficiency. Lower efficiency means higher monthly utility bills.
Comfort: Lower airflow leads to poor distribution of conditioned air throughout the home, contributing to hot and cold spots, or the system not keeping up on the hottest or coldest days.
Noise: High static pressure is often a clue as to why a system is excessively noisy – the same repairs to reduce static pressure usually decrease noise as well.
Repairs: Low airflow causes furnaces to overheat internally, and air conditioners and heat pumps to not function smoothly. Many common expensive repairs – or premature total failure – are directly attributable to low airflow.
The good news is that identifying high static pressure allows us to prescribe the right medicine to make your system and your home happier! Each system is different – but most common airflow improvements are fairly simple and economical. And best of all, they pay for themselves through more efficient operation and lower utility bills.
Next time your HVAC contractor visits your home, ask your technician to take the time to check your ducts static pressure and explain the results. If you are having any comfort, dust or high utility bill issues, give a home performance trained contractor a call and they’ll explain your options for home & duct performance assessments.
Have you ever wondered why some rooms are not as comfortable as others, and sometimes an entire floor can be uncomfortable? This can be very frustrating however, the good news is it can be fixed. There are many reasons why this happens, but the most common issue is air flow. When an HVAC system is installed there are a lot of assumptions made and very few checks and balances to ensure the system is working properly.
The first step is to find an HVAC contractor who is trained, understands how air flow works in the home and is able to measure and test. The easiest repair is simply what is called air balancing. Dampers should have been installed when the house was built, but unfortunately many homes are lacking them. If your home is missing dampers, they can and will need to be added.
Your contractor will provide what is called a room by room load calculation to determine how much air flow is required to the rooms. He or she can then do simple steps to ensure the proper amount of air flow is being directed to each room.
The most important part of testing is to ensure your duct system is in good working order. It must be sized properly and free of any duct leakage. Both these problems can rob a home of the precious air that is needed to be comfortable. Duct systems can be repaired and sealed to make sure the right amount of airflow is being distributed throughout the house. In some cases it is necessary to replace the entire duct system to guarantee proper sizing, insulation and no duct leaks. A good duct system is key to making your home more comfortable and providing your family with the clean healthy air.
And there is another benefit. Unlike any other repair you do in your home, fixing your ducts can actually help pay you back. A good duct system will use less energy and save on monthly utility costs.
Leaky ducts cause drafts, dusty homes and higher utility bills!
There are a number of reasons that you might feel drafts or inconsistent temperatures throughout your home. However, there is one culprit that is more common than all others: leaky ducts.
When your ducts are leaking into the walls, crawlspace, attic or floors, some of the air that is supposed to be delivered to the home never makes it where it is supposed to. That paid for heat (or cool) moves through the structure to outside.
When the duct work is sealed either by hand or with our preferred method, AeroSeal, the air is delivered to all areas as was hopefully intended.
In addition to causing inadequate air delivery, duct leakage causes the home to suffer pressure imbalances which are a leading contributor to the introduction of unconditioned dirty air from the crawl space and attic. This introduction of “bad air” will contribute to poor indoor air quality, exacerbating respiratory issues, and cool drafts moving through the home.
Homes with duct leakage can suffer these issues:
Excessive dust and toxic airborne particulate
Uneven heating or cooling (especially the extremities of the home)
Excessive indoor humidity
Increased asthma, allergy and other respiratory symptoms
Higher than expected heating or cooling bills
If you, or anyone you know, have experienced any of these challenges, it’s important that you contact your local home performance trained HVAC contractor to explore the solutions that are available.
Check out the video below to see how one homeowner solved their drafts:
Do you value the health of your employees? More and more office employees are complaining about sick business syndrome (sbs). The EPA defines the term as ” situations in which building occupants experience acute health and comfort effects that appear to be linked to time spent in a building, but no specific illness or cause can be identified. ” Causes and contributing factors can be linked to inadequate ventilation, chemical contaminants from indoor and outdoor sources.
Symptoms include irritated eyes, headaches, inability to concentrate, and lack of energy. Avoiding these symptoms can result in wasted company time and poor quality of life for your employees.
So how do you fix these issues? Talk to a professional about the
symptoms of your building and how best to resolve them.
AeroSeal is the fastest growing method to improve the duct system in your home. Recently highlighted on the Today Show and This Old House, it’s fast becoming a ‘standard’ improvement on any home performance project. Visit www.BarronHeating.com/AeroSeal to watch an educational video on its use and function
To make the process of having a Home and Duct Performance test as smooth as possible, you can follow the steps below. Many of the steps can be done in the days leading up to your test while ‘for safety reasons’, you might want to wait unit we arrive (or just before) to handle others. Hopefully you’re as excited as we are about learning what your house has to tell us about its Health, Comfort & Efficiency.
Watch the video.
Visit BarronHeating.com/service to see the 6 minute video that explains the whole home and duct performance test process. Doing this will save us valuable testing time when we are at your home and may answer questions you have.
Take the Comfort Check-up Survey.
Also at BarronHeating.com/homeperformancesurvey is a quick 3 minute survey regarding how you experience comfort and air quality at home. The answers you give will allow me to dial in to the opportunities that are most valuable to you as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Locate your electric and natural gas utility account numbers.
Your account number may in some cases give us the ability to pre-approve you for certain utility rebates.
Open up all the interior doors.
This allows for the natural air flow of all zones of your home during testing.
Clear access to all the registers (aka grilles).
In order to measure duct leakage I will need to access all the heat and return registers with a piece of equipment that needs about 2.5 feet of vertical clearance. Any that we can’t get to will be masked off and not used for the test. This will not affect the accuracy of the results.
Check to make sure the filters in your return ducts are relatively clean.
These will be located either at the grills in the home or in a box attached to your furnace.
Make sure all windows are closed.
We don’t want to measure your house leakage with a hole like that in your wall.
Make sure any wood fireplaces are cleaned out and closed as much as possible.
This includes closing the flue.
Do not build a fire in the fireplace in the 24 hours before the test.
When the house is under pressure, it is possible to pull a small amount of ash or chimney debris into the home if we haven’t properly sealed its path.
Turn all gas appliances, such as fireplaces and wall heaters, to “OFF”.
I will take care of the furnace and the water heater if necessary, but you know how to operate the appliances in your home better than I do.
We will be double checking that all these conditions have been met before we begin the testing process, but anything that can be done before we arrive will allow for more time sleuthing and discussing solutions.