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Picture Rocks Cooling Heating & Plumbing Blog

Is Your Ductwork Leaking?


Since the 1970s, when central air conditioning became common, most new American homes have been constructed with a network of ducts for their HVAC systems. With these ducts in place, conditioned air (or heated air in the winter) can be distributed throughout the house with no air conditioners inconveniently balanced in windows. The reason for the popularity of the central AC is that it keeps your HVAC system out of sight and out of your way while efficiently bringing your whole home to the perfect temperature. 

But sometimes, especially as the ducts age, problems can occur. We’re here to help you understand the signs of leaking ducts, how these leaks can be caused, and what we can do to solve the problem and get your home back to keeping you comfortable with ease.

How to Identify Duct Leaks

While the ductwork itself is out of sight, not easily inspected for holes or cracks, there are signs that can indicate that a leak might be present. Humming or whistling may occur while your air conditioner is running, caused by air pushing through a crack. The air flowing from your air conditioner may be warmer than you’d like if a leak is pulling in non-conditioned air, or there may be just a trickle of air if it is being lost somewhere else in the system rather than coming out your vents where you need it. Conversely, if you touch your walls and ceilings with your hand, you may feel cold areas where conditioned air is blowing into the space around the ducts. Finally, and perhaps most distressingly, your energy bills may increase as your air conditioner works harder and harder to cool your home. 

How Duct Leaks Happen

Several different possibilities exist here. If your ducts are quite new, it’s possible that a tear inadvertently occurred during installation. If you’ve had renovations done, ductwork may have been damaged in the process. Animals such as mice, squirrels, or raccoons can scratch or chew holes in ductwork. And if your ducts are old, perhaps original ductwork in a home built decades ago, it’s entirely possible that they’ve simply degraded with time.

How HVAC Technicians Fix Duct Leaks

Perhaps you’re imagining that you could just slap some duct tape on those leaking spots and call it a day. That’s practically free! You’ve probably got duct tape lying around the house already. Unfortunately, despite the name, duct tape is not great for duct repair. The constant temperature changes degrade the glue on duct tape quickly. When you get professional duct sealing in Tucson, AZ, your technician will use a high-quality sealant made of mastic. It’s able to change temperature over and over, maintaining a tight seal, without deteriorating. This is the perfect solution for isolated leaks. Ductwork would only need to be replaced if the damage extends throughout the system.

Every member of our team, from customer service to technicians, is committed to always offering solutions with your best interest in mind, at a reasonable price. Your comfort is our top priority.

Contact Picture Rocks Cooling, Heating & Plumbing today to schedule an appointment with our professionals.

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