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  • Writer's pictureMike Fagnan

How to check your ductwork for leaks

Most people think of windows and doors when checking to ensure no air leaks in their homes. However, the air in your heating and cooling system conditions must travel through your ductwork before entering your living spaces. When there are duct leaks, that warm or cool air doesn’t make it, and your system works harder to maintain the desired temperature. As a result, duct leaks heavily impact energy efficiency.

Here we share a few ways to test for leaks in your ductwork.

Visual inspection

First and foremost, if you suspect a leak in your ducts, it’s a good idea to look at the ductwork you can access and see. An inspection involves climbing into your attic, crawlspace or basement. Are there any obvious gaps, disconnections or tears between the duct connection? If so, you know the air is leaking out.

If you see older duct tape on your ducts, this is also a sign your ductwork was leaking in the past and that someone may have tried to patch it up. Unfortunately, duct tape isn’t a permanent fix. You should replace it with foil-backed duct tape. Or, a better idea is to call a professional like Fagnan’s Furnace Service to fix the leaks!

Feel for leaks

You can also feel for leaks in the ductwork you can access easily. For this, you have to turn on your HVAC system and return to the areas in your home where you can see your ducts. First, look at the connections between each section. Next, place a hand over the metal. Can you feel the air against your hand? If so, the connection is loose, and you have an air leak. The most common place for air leaks is in the duct joints.

Smoke pencil test

You can purchase a smoke pencil at a home improvement store. For this method, with your HVAC system on, you start by moving the smoke pencil over your ductwork. Then you watch for a disturbance in the smoke. If you see one, then you should suspect that a leak is present.

Call a professional HVAC contractor

There are professional methods for testing leaks. For example, an experienced HVAC contractor will use special equipment that hooks up to your ductwork. Then they can then provide a more accurate analysis of leaks and airflow. Using a professional will also save you from having to crawl into your attic to try to assess the situation yourself.

At Fagnan’s Furnace Service, we have decades of experience in the HVAC industry. We can test your ductwork and bring in solutions for leaks. We offer duct cleaning services as well. While you have us, schedule a regular maintenance visit for your HVAC system. Then you can ensure all is in good working order before the summer heat!

Also, if you have an old HVAC system needing replacement or want a more energy-efficient system, we carry a vast selection of air-conditioning and heating systems for you to choose from. We are a Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer and offer a wide range of highly energy-efficient products.

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