Ducts that have significant leakage can have a major impact on your energy consumption, reducing the efficiency of your heating and cooling system. There are steps you to take to reduce this leakage and ensure that you are getting the most out of your HVAC.
What can I do about it?
Seal and insulate existing ducts.
Start by sealing duct leaks using mastic sealant or metal tape and insulating all the ducts that you can access. Also, make sure that the connections at vents and registers are well-sealed where they meet the floors, walls, and ceiling.
Get an energy audit.
Before you prepare to remodel, find out how efficient your building is already working. Contact an energy efficiency auditor to test how badly the air ducts leak, and consider getting a “blower door” test (see image at right) to see how much air leaks in and out through cracks, outlets, windows, and doors.