To move air throughout your home, an HVAC system relies on the pressurization of the ductwork. A hole in the ductwork prevents the HVAC system from pressurizing, reducing the HVAC system’s ability to adequately heat and cool your home. Repairing a ductwork hole will increase the efficiency of your HVAC system, lowering your monthly energy bill. The method you use to repair the hole will be determined by the type of material used in your ductwork as well as the size of the hole you are repairing.
Your HVAC ductwork is critical to the efficiency of your heating and cooling system. Holes in your ducts can allow warm and cool air to escape, reducing the efficiency of your entire system.
Worse, holes draw air contaminants into your home’s air, such as dust, mold spores, insulation fibers, and chemical fumes, compromising your family’s indoor air quality. Repairing duct damage is a simple project that benefits both your wallet and your health.
Tape the Small Holes together
First, wash the entire circumference of your ductwork with soapy water, rinse thoroughly, and allow to dry completely. The duct hole can then be sealed with Underwriters Laboratory (UL) 181 foil-backed tape. This tape is suitable for use in high-temperature environments. Any tape that has not been approved for use on ductwork is a fire and smoke hazard. Take a 6-inch strip of tape, place it just above one side of the hole, and wrap it around the duct. When you get back to your starting point, slightly overlap the tape and go around the duct again. Continue until the entire hole has been covered.
Repair the Larger Holes
After cleaning the duct, measure the hole’s height and width, then add one inch to both. Mark these measurements with a marker on a section of 26-gauge sheet metal and cut out the section with sheet metal shears. Cover the hole with the sheet metal patch. Use a power screwdriver to drive a #10 self-tapping sheet metal screw into each corner of the patch if you’re patching a sheet metal duct. Secure the patch to a fiberboard duct with a strip of foil tape on each side. Finally, apply a bead of silicone caulk around the patch’s edges to prevent air leaks.
To improve the efficiency of your HVAC ductwork, make sure the joints are secure and sealed with mastic or foil-backed tape, and that unconditioned ducts are insulated.
There could be a number of reasons why you have holes in your ductwork. Holes can form as a result of improperly sealed duct connections, loosely connected ducts, and pests infiltrating your ductwork. Holes in your ductwork can make your home’s HVAC system work harder, eventually causing it to fail. Holes can also increase your monthly energy bills and fill your home with dust and debris.
How Do You Know If Your Ductwork Has Holes?
There will be several indications that you have ductwork holes, which include:
- Bills for energy. You’ll notice an increase in your energy bills. If there hasn’t been a significant change in temperature and you’re certain you haven’t changed anything, chances are you have holes in your ductwork.
- Rooms can be warm or cold. If your HVAC system is turned on but some rooms in your house are warmer or cooler than others, this could be a sign that you have holes in your ductwork.
- If you notice that your house remains dusty despite frequent dusting, this is a sign that you have holes in your ductwork. Dirt and debris from your home’s foundation can be sucked into the ductwork, causing you to see and breathe in dust.
- Filter for the furnace. You may notice that you need to change your furnace filter more frequently. This is due to dust being drawn up through the system through the holes.
- If you see peeling, duct tape, sealant, or metal on your duct, this indicates that you have a hole in your duct. If you notice any kinked, crushed, or tangled ductwork, you should have it repaired as soon as possible.
If you notice any of the above issues, it is likely that your HVAC system is not operating at peak efficiency. These holes are causing wear and tear on your heating and cooling system, as well as costing you a fortune in electric bills.
Locating the Holes
The first thing you’ll need to do is locate the holes in your ductwork. The first place to start is by inspecting any exposed ductwork. In some cases, you’ll need to remove the removable tile ceiling or crawl beneath your house to inspect the ductwork. Examine your ductwork for any holes or other indications of a problem.
The holes can be very small at times, and you may not be able to see them. If this is the case, you should conduct a smoke test. Set your unit to the fan setting and light a candle. Place the smoke on top of the exposed ducts. Begin at the point where your ducts are connected. If the smoke is being blown away or drawn into the ductwork, you have holes in the ductwork.
Taking Care of Your Ductwork
If you discover that your ducts have holes in them, you should begin the repair process.
Repairing the holes Duct mastic sealing or metal duct tape should be used to repair any holes in your ductwork. These will help to prevent leaks in the long run, eliminating the need to redo or reapply in the future. If the hole is large, you should have that section of ductwork replaced. A significant loss of airflow can severely damage your HVAC system and cause your energy bill to skyrocket.
Examine the vents and registers. After you’ve repaired the holes in your ductwork, inspect your registers and vents to ensure they’re properly connected. These connections can become loose in some cases, and if they do, you will lose air as well. Tighten up these connections to ensure proper airflow.
Insulate the ductwork. You should insulate your ductwork to help prevent holes caused by pests. By insulating your ductwork, you can keep air from escaping. You will notice that your system is more efficient, which will save you a significant amount of money.
When Should You Hire an HVAC duct repair company near Houston?
If you follow all of the steps above and still have problems with your HVAC system not being efficient, you should have a professional HVAC company inspect your system. There could be holes in the ductwork that you overlooked, or the holes could be in a section of the ductwork that is not visible. A professional technician will have all of the tools necessary to determine where you are losing air and will be able to fix it right away. If you have a serious problem, they may recommend that you have your ductwork replaced, which they can do for you.