How to lower your heating bill : Thurston County Home Talk

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With today’s economy and most folks trying to leave less of a carbon footprint.  I wanted to touch on a few ways to save money and help the environment.  Most people would be surprised at the amount of heat loss out of heat registers. It is common to see leakage rates of 250-400 CFM in older duct systems.  This amount of leakage can result in a 30% or more reduction in operating efficiency, wasting hundreds of dollars every year.

Even when properly designed,

Duct systems must be installed

Correctly to be efficient, maintain

Uniform temperatures throughout

The house, operate quietly, and

Not adversely impact comfort or

Indoor air quality. Loosing hundreds of dollars a year in utility bills is everyone’s concern.  But leaky ducts don’t just cost you money it can also cost you and your family’s health.  Leaky ducts can allow dust, mold, humidity and other toxins to enter your home from basement, attics and crawl spaces. Learn how to save money and protect your family’s health by following these steps to seal the air ducts in your home.

  1. Evaluate the following to determine if you have leaky ducts. If you have high summer and winter utility bills, fluctuating temperatures between rooms, if you see kinked ducts you probably have ducts that are leaking.
  2. Hire a professional to check your duct system if you are not sure you have leaky duct work. Be aware that some  ducts are especially difficult to access. Professionals can run a test using forced air through ducts to determine if your ducts leak.
  3. Look at duct work that is insulated to see if there are streaks of dirt around the seal. This is a sign you have a leak under the insulation at a duct joint.
  4. Check for air leaks around joints where duct work meets heating or cooling units, around the plenum and areas where ducts split. You will see open spaces, and cracks in old tape or sealing  mastic and dust or lint collected around areas that are leaky.
  5. Support the flex duct work with metal hanging straps at five foot intervals. This should be a regular installation step but many times installers do not support every five feet. This causes duct work to sag, detach and leak.6. Use duct sealing mastic to seal ducts and joints. Mastic is a thick paste sold in tubes.7.  Apply mastic paste around joints, collars and corners of the entire air or heating system including unit and plenum areas.

 

8. Squeeze a thick line of paste around the inside of the bigger duct opening and slip the next section inside when sealing actual duct work.

9, Check and seal each of the following areas:
• Disconnected sections or connections
• Connections between air unit and plenum
• All seams including the major unit, plenum, and duct work
• Returns and boots
• Joints between duct branches
• Seams that run lengthwise down duct work.

By completing these simple energy saving tips your family will be healthier and you will save a good amount of money every year.

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