Utility Saving Tips | Effective Air Conditioning Duct Air Sealing
A high utility bill is a common concern every summer when AC service in Fresno is a much-needed commodity. This is why finding all possible means to save on energy consumption is valuable to every household or business. The most common is to maintain an energy-efficient HVAC system that is fully functional and tuned up regularly. However, there are factors that affect the increase of your energy consumption that isn’t found within the unit itself, but rather the air conditioning duct sealing.
Air leak is a silent but major contributor in making your home AC service exert extra effort in cooling the temperature within your property. By definition, “air leakage occurs when outside wind enters and conditioned air leaves your house uncontrollably through cracks and openings. It is unwise to rely on leakage for ventilation. During cold or windy weather, too much air may enter the house. When it’s warmer and less windy, not enough air may enter, which can result in poor indoor air quality. This leakage also contributes to moisture problems that can affect occupants’ health and the structure’s durability.” Learn more about this in a published post.
Detecting Air Leakage
To effectively seal cool air from leaking out and hot air to seep in, first, you must find the corners and areas in your home that have small openings, especially those that are too tiny to spot right away. Once you find these small openings, sealing them off would be much faster and more effective in keeping the cool air in.
First, use your hand. Place your hand around the edges of all exterior windows and doors, and bathroom and kitchen vents. If you can feel the cold wind on your hand, then most probably there is a leak. Second, find smaller leaks with the use of a candle. Place a lighted candle near areas where there might be a suspected leakage. If the candle dances around slightly, then you’ve found gaps where conditioned breeze can pass through.
The third and last one would require hiring a contractor. The contractor will place a blower fan in the front entrance of the house to suck out all the inside air, a process called depressurization. This process allows outside wind in through the small gaps. The contractor will then move through the house to detect the leaks.
Sealing Leakage Openings
Once the small gaps are determined, the next step would be to seal these gaps to completely prevent conditioned breeze from escaping. The best method to seal off these gaps is caulking. Caulk is a flexible material often used to seal leaks through cracks or gaps in between stationary building materials and components. In a related article from energy.gov, the caulking process is further explained.
Most caulking compounds come in disposable cartridges that fit in half-barrel caulking guns (if possible, purchase one with an automatic release). Some pressurized cartridges do not require caulking guns. When deciding how much caulking to purchase, consider that you’ll probably need a half-cartridge per window or door and four cartridges for the foundation sill of an average home. Caulking compounds can also be found in aerosol cans, squeeze tubes, and ropes for small jobs or special applications.
Caulking compounds vary in strength, properties, and prices. Water-based caulk can be cleaned with water, while solvent-based compounds require a solvent for cleanup.
Sealing leakages are as important as regular AC tune up service. Home cooling systems should remain efficient all throughout the summer season so households and businesses can continuously live and function in comfort. Be sure to watch for signs of bad ducts, and consider replacing your air ducts.
Air Conditioning Ductwork Repair
At Marthedal, we encourage our clients to be vigilant of the sudden increase in their utility bills because this is an indicator of a possible system or procedural issue in the existing HVAC system. We offer free in-house consultation to anyone who wishes to improve their existing heating and cooling services. Schedule a consultation appointment today for a better performing AC service throughout the summer season.