Winter in Covington, Northern Kentucky, and Greater Cincinnati can be brutal, and the cold weather presents a number of potential heating system problems for homeowners. This is because it’s often when most homeowners will crank up their heating to keep their homes comfortable.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the solution to cold weather because air leaks may exist, and they can seriously impact your monthly energy bills. This means even more issues to encounter and fix. Before the weather gets too cold, make sure you check for leaks in your air ducts as well as air leaks in your windows and doors. 

How to Check an Air Duct Leak

You can check air duct leaks at home in several different ways. Remember that a home’s ductwork isn’t always easy to access, so you may need to contact a professional for help. If you find issues as you check air duct leaks, mark the location and make a repair plan.

  • A simple visual inspection may be all it takes to identify leaks, as damaged ductwork often shows signs of gaps, holes, or cracks. If you find any damage, it’s important to have it repaired promptly by a professional. In some cases, you may be able to repair the damage yourself with duct tape or mastic sealant. However, if the damage is extensive, it’s best to leave the repairs to the professionals. The longer that problem is left untreated, the more significant impact it can have on your home’s overall HVAC system efficiency and ability to perform.
  • Turn on your HVAC system and allow it to run for a few minutes. Feel around the ducts for any changes in temperature. Then, light an incense stick and hold it near the air ducts. If you notice the smoke flickering, it means there is an air leak. Once you have located the leak, you can seal it with mastic. 

As said, it can be challenging to check your duct system for leaks on your own due to the location of the home’s ducts. If you cannot safely access your ductwork or accurately assess for leaks, your trusted HVAC professional has the solution to hunt down those leaks.

  • The blower duct test is a way of checking for leaks in the ductwork of a home’s air conditioning and heating system. It involves sealing off the supply and return sides of the blower and then running it for a specific period. The air pressure in the ducts is then measured. If there is a significant difference between the supply and return pressure, it indicates leaks in the ductwork. The blower duct test is an important part of ensuring that a home’s HVAC system is operating efficiently. 

The Problem With Duct Leaks

Now that you’re ready to check for leaking air ducts around the house, let’s talk about the problems they produce and how they impact your home.

Air Leaks Let In Cold Air

When an air leak exists, it exposes the home to the outside elements. This means when temperatures are low, there can be a draft in the air leak, and the cold air can seep inside the home, making this an uncomfortable situation.

Check the windows and doors to ensure there are no gaps or cracks. If there are any, you want to get them fixed before the problem worsens and the weather gets colder. The longer you wait, the more issues you can have with your HVAC system.

When it comes to your ductwork, leaks can let cold air into your living areas, making it difficult to keep your home comfortable. The area surrounding ducts in most homes is unheated, so it is very cold in the winter. Conditioned air from these spaces seeps into the ductwork through gaps and holes, lowering the temperature of the air traveling into living areas.

Air Leaks Make Your Heating Less Effective

Imagine going to turn on your heater, setting your ideal temperature, and then realizing that the heater never turns off. It takes a lot longer to work effectively than normal, and you’re not sure why. Then you realize there’s an air leak in your windows or doors.

This air leak is letting the heat out of the home and letting cold air in. This means your heater has to work much harder than it should to warm your home. As such, your utility bills increase, and soon enough, you find yourself paying exorbitant fees for something that can be fixed before the weather even reaches colder temperatures.

Air Leaks Impact Indoor Air Quality

Duct leaks can have a big impact on indoor air quality. Leaks allow outside air to enter the ductwork, which can contain a variety of pollutants like dust, pollen, and mold spores. These contaminants can then be circulated throughout the home, leading to health problems for residents. In addition, duct leaks can also cause energy loss by allowing heated or cooled air to escape. As a result, it’s important to repair any duct leaks as soon as they’re discovered in order to maintain good indoor air quality and save money on energy bills.

End Your Duct Leaks Today

At Rusk Heating & Cooling, we serve the Covington, Northern Kentucky, and Greater Cincinnati areas with top-notch HVAC services. We know how air leaks can be damaging to your heater in colder weather, and we want to help you improve your situation.

If you find yourself heating or cooling your home longer than you should, it may mean there’s an air leak. If you’re having a problem with the HVAC system itself, our team has the services you need to get it fixed right when you need it most.

Contact Us Today for Help

If you’ve been experiencing any of the symptoms we mentioned earlier, it might be time to check for air duct leaks in your home. The best way to do this is by scheduling an appointment with our team. We can come out and take a look at your system, identify any leaks, and provide you with an estimate for fixing them. Contact us today to get started!