Are Your Ducts Leaking Money?


By Marisa Hanson, emPower Specialist

When you think of home energy efficiency, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Insulation? Furnace? Windows? While all of those are important aspects of creating an energy efficient home, one of the most important systems in your house doesn’t use energy at all, but may be costing you hundreds of dollars a year in waste: ducts.

A home’s duct system is responsible for delivering hot and cold air throughout the house. If the ducts are bent, smashed, disconnected or uninsulated, they are not delivering conditioned air to the rooms in your house efficiently. Not only can leaky ducts add hundreds of dollars to your energy bills each year, they may be bringing in dirt and particles from your attic or crawlspace that you’d rather not breathe in.

A sealed and insulated duct system can also reduce the size of the HVAC system needed. Often, homeowners assume the reason their house isn’t heating up well is because their furnace isn’t big enough. Instead of replacing it with a bigger unit, first, inspect the ducts to make sure they are in good condition. A qualified contractor can identify where leaks are, and seal them up to minimize waste.

In order for a well-designed duct system to continue to deliver air throughout a home properly, minor maintenance is needed. Make sure furniture is not blocking vents, and vacuum vents and registers to remove dust. If any modifications are made to your home, however minor, simple upgrades such as installing a new return air register or door grille may be needed to ensure proper airflow.

For more information on duct systems and other home energy upgrades, sign up for your personalized Home Energy Portal. Here you can find helpful energy saving tips, request a FREE Energy Coach site visit, receive preliminary estimates from contractors, and more!