Discovering duct leaks

I recently read an article focused on improving the energy efficiency of the home.

According to this article, heating and cooling accounts for approximately 50% of household energy consumption.

It listed suggestions on how to prevent conditioned air from escaping and outdoor air from coming in. I was already aware of many of the recommendations. I know that it’s a good idea to close the curtains against the heat of the day during the summer and open them up to welcome in the sunshine during the winter. I make sure to regularly replace the air filters of the air conditioner and furnace and schedule professional maintenance every spring and fall. I’ve invested into thermal pane, low E, Energy Star rated windows and meticulously caulked around them. I’ve added insulation to the attic, weatherstripped exterior doors and installed overhead ceiling fans. I was doubtful when the article claimed that the majority of homes sacrifice up to 30% of heated and cooled air to holes and leaks in the ductwork. I decided to have my duct system tested by a licensed HVAC contractor. The technician informed me that my ducts were wasting approximately 20% of heated and cooled air. That energy waste adds up to a significant expense. I had no idea how to go about fixing the problem. The air ducts are concealed inside walls and ceilings and nearly impossible to access. Fortunately, there is a process called Aeroseal that works to resolve problems from inside the pipes. The technician blocked off the supply and return vents, then introduced highly pressurized air into the ducts. The air contains polymer particles that are non-toxic yet sticky. As the air leaked from cracks and holes, the adhesive particles clung to the edges. They steadily built up to form an airtight seal.

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