- Ideas & How-Tos
Choose Your Savings
Tiny openings in furnace and air conditioning ductwork add up to big energy losses. Permanently plug those leaks to save some green while going green.
Use this checklist when you go to the store and purchase your items.
Ductwork is the system in which conditioned air is transported to heat or cool your house. In an average home, up to 20 percent of that air is lost due to leaks, holes and faulty connections. Look for tiny holes in the tubing, gaps, and branching lines of dust and dirt at duct connections. Most problems are found at the duct joints, duct connections and where ducts meet an air vent or floor register.
Below are signs your ductwork may need attention:
Vacuum ductwork where possible and wipe it clean with soapy water. Check for any loose fittings that can be tightened.
Cut a piece of HVAC foil tape long enough to wrap around the duct at each joint.
Peel off the paper backing and apply tape centered on the exposed seams in the ductwork. Press the tape in place using a plastic putty knife.
Vacuum ductwork where possible and wipe it clean with soapy water. If you find any gaps greater than 1/4 inch, fasten the pieces together again before applying sealant, or cover the gap with flexible mesh tape.
Beginning from the top or upper sides, brush sealant onto the ductwork over the joints. Coat the ductwork with bands about 2 inches wide and centered on the seams. Using the brush, work the sealant into the seam. Allow at least one day for the sealant to dry.
Ensuring your ductwork is properly sealed can: