Air-conditioning units are a must-have to greatly improve your home environment and air quality. While we enjoy having good-quality air from our AC unit, they tend to wear out at some point, and eventually break down. Just like any other appliance and home equipment, your AC needs some repairs and maintenance too.
As your AC breaks, one of the most common problems is its ductwork. Most ductwork problems are leaks, causing your electricity costs to go up, waste energy, pressure imbalances, mold, rot, moisture problems, and comfort complaints. To give you some help, here are some tips:
Inspect for Air Leaks
In doing this, you need to grab your basic tools. Get your screwdriver and a flashlight. You’ll also need to get some HVAC aluminum foil tape or mastic sealant for patching up some leaks. Don’t forget to dress appropriately for the job, as you’ll get your clothes dirty while doing these. For your safety, wear rubber gloves.
You must first check the main unit and its large ducts (which are connected to your branch ducts). One side of the duct system blows air through the branch ducts, while the other pulls air.
Turn your HVAC system around and feel around all air ducts and its connections to check for any leak. Try wetting your hand for more sensitivity to enhance your ability to detect leaks. You can also use a sponge and a dishwashing soap and put some bubbles onto suspected areas. If the bubbles move, there’s a great chance that there’s a leak.
The areas where your ducts are visible should be inspected next (this could be in your basement or your attic). Check the insulation surrounding your ducts for any damage, mold, torn pieces, or damp spots. If there’s a wet area, it’s a great indication of blockage and an indoor quality concern, which requires cleaning. But if some damage is present in your insulation or any mold problems, you should contact your trusted local technician for repairs.
You want to try to feel some air movement around your duct seams to see if there is any leak. While you are testing for air leaks, seize the opportunity to also check for air duct insulation damages and wet spots.
How to Seal Your Air Ducts
If there is an obvious leak coming from the main ducts, you can repair it quite easily. Aluminum foil tapes and other heat-approving tapes are great for leaks on a flat surface where pieces of metal are joined together. When purchasing, better look for Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label. Before you do any work, grab your rag and make sure that the area is clean before applying either foil tape or mastic sealant.
After cleaning the surface, place a strip of the aluminum foil tape. After you have cleaned the surface, simply place a strip of the aluminum foil tape over the leak or use your mastic sealant and a paintbrush to seal it. Use the mastic sealant for leak areas that would be difficult to close with the foil tape. After all, mastic sealants are better compared to foil strips.
If the problem persists and you think you can’t repair it on your own, it is best to find and call for repair services. We hope we’ve helped you!