With summer quickly approaching, New York homeowners are getting ready for the hot days ahead and thinking about the rising costs of air conditioning bills. However, before the hot months are upon us, it’s a good idea to evaluate your current air conditioner system to make sure you don’t have leaky ducts. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does your air conditioning seem to run all day, but your home never reaches its set temperature?
- Do you have certain rooms in the house that are difficult to heat and cool?
- Have you noticed dust on the furniture shortly after dusting?
- Are your allergies or your family’s worse than usual?
- Are your utility bills seemingly higher than what you’re accustomed to?
If you answered, “yes” to any of these questions, your home may be suffering from leaky ducts
Literally hundreds of dollars a year can be lost in utility bills if your air ducts are not sealed properly. In fact, leaky ducts can reduce heating and cooling system efficiency by as much as 20%. However, leaky ducts can cost you more than just money – it can cost you your family’s health. Leaky ducts can allow a variety of allergens and airborne irritants such as dust, mold, humidity and other toxins like radon gas, pesticides and carbon monoxide to enter your home from basements, attics and crawl spaces.
In homes with forced-air heating and cooling systems, heat ducts are used to distribute conditioned air throughout the house. However, believe it or not, about 20% of the air that moves through the heat ducts is lost due to leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts. This results in higher utility bills, as well as difficulty keeping the house comfortable no matter what your thermostat is set at.
Leaky ducts can also allow various chemical fumes, dust, and other allergens to enter your heat duct system which induces asthma and other allergy-related problems. What’s worse is that gas appliances such as water heaters, furnace systems, and clothes dryers release combustion gases, such as carbon monoxide, through the vents. Leaky ducts may cause what’s known as “back-drafting” where these gases will re-enter a home’s living space rather than releasing them to the outdoors. Sealing those leaky ducts can reduce all of these risks and improve the quality of your indoor air.
If you’re concerned you may have leaky ducts, it is recommended you contact a reputable HVAC contractor to do a full inspection of your heat ducts. One call can dramatically protect your family’s health and save you hundreds of dollars all at the same time.