Archive for Energy Savings

The Benefits of Air Ducts


Benefits of Sealed DuctsOpening Up Floor Vent Heater

  • Environmental: Fossil fuels are used by power plants to generate energy for HVAC systems.  Fixing a leak will reduce energy use and indirectly decrease a power plant’s fossil fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions—the main cause of global warming.
  • Health & Safety: Household appliances emit carbon monoxide and other harmful gases. When a furnace has a leaky duct, carbon monoxide is drawn back into the home, a process called backdrafting. If you suspect that gas is not being properly vented outside, and your smoke and carbon monoxide alarm goes off, call 911 or the fire department. Sealing leaky ducts can also prevent dust particulates from circulating that can aggravate asthma and other allergies.
  • Comfort: Ducts allow a room to heat up or cool down properly. Feeling a bracing chill even with the furnace on? It may be leaky ductwork or the system is not properly insulated. Fixing the duct will provide relief.
  • Savings: Leaky ducts can result in a 20% loss of energy in your home. The cost to fix the leak can often be recouped within a short time after the repair


What Exactly is a Duct System? A duct system, or ductwork, is a series of branching tubes, typically metal, or aluminum, but sometimes fiberglass, which branch out from your Heating, Ventilation, Air, and Conditioning (HVAC) system. When you turn on your thermostat, a forced-air furnace blasts warm or cool air into your home through a series of vents, usually one in each room. Ducts leaks from holes, tears, or poorly attached duct sections or lack of insulation can account for a 20% energy loss in a home. Problems identifying a loose or leaky duct, however, can be exacerbated because ducts are often found in hard-to-reach places like behind walls, attics or in a crawlspace. Therefore, detecting the source of a leak yourself may be difficult.


Do It Yourself? Those who enjoy embarking on DIY home projects over the holidays can certainly do minor duct repairs such as patching a small leak with mastic, a very strong adhesive. A duct can also be sealed with an aerosol technology. This technology is safe, has no off-gassing and lasts 10-plus years; it works especially well when a leak is hard to find, such as one between a floor, a wall or a ceiling. For most situations a combination of mastic and/or  an aerosol sealant should work effectively. But in these situations, that is, ones in which a leak may be hidden, it makes better sense to get your home evaluated by a professional. Read More.

Ducts: The Hidden Secrets to Comfort, Energy Efficiency, and Fewer Greenhouse Gases

Heating and Air DuctThe Hidden Secrets of Ducts

If you seldom think about the duct system in your home or, dare I say, never, you wouldn’t be alone. You’d be like most homeowners who pay little attention to this important household system. To be sure, many people are surprised to find out how their home’s duct system can have a strong bearing on home comfort, energy savings, personal safety, indoor air quality and play a role in global warming. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy states that a duct system is one of the most important household systems, calling it “a vital element in home energy efficiency.”

We expect our central heating and air systems to work perfectly all the time, and most often they do. But when your furnace stops working efficiently—and winter sends an unsuspecting chill into your home—what should you do? Interestingly, when this happens, almost-never thoughts of ducts become daily thoughts, until the problem is resolved. With the chiller days of winter fast approaching, a cold home caused by a malfunctioning duct system will cause discomfort for many Bay Area homeowners. The solution can vary, but it makes most sense to call a professional to get your system evaluated.


If you recognize any of these signs, your duct system may be in need of repair:

    • A higher than normal energy bills for this time of year, with other factors accounted for
    • An obvious space or gap in a duct where you suspect a tight seal should be
    • A noticeable stuffiness in a particular room . . . . Is the air circulating at all?
    •  A living area that heats up very slowly when the thermostat has been turned on
    • A duct system located in a crawlspace, attic, basement or other unconditioned location
    • A bent or tangled duct or one that does not appear to be properly insulated

Read More.