If you have high energy bills, you may want to start off by having your HVAC ductwork inspected. The U.S. Department of Energy cites that the average American home leaks 20%-30% of the air your HVAC unit is delivering to the conditioned space of your home. I have found that even new homes can fall into this category. Of the many homes I inspect in the Richmond area, I would say that maybe 5% of them don’t need to have their ducts properly sealed.
So, when you have an energy bill of $500 for a 1500 sq. ft. home, your first step isn’t to go to the insulation companies for a price on fiberglass insulation or loads of spray foam. Get your ductwork checked out. It doesn’t matter how much insulation you have if your HVAC unit is blowing a bunch of air from leaky duct joints into your crawl space or attic. And do you know what? Getting your ductwork sealed is much cheaper than upgrading your insulation.
Now, let’s talk about indoor air quality. So now we know those leaky duct joints that are pumping hot air into your attic need to be sealed, but what about the return side of the system that is sucking cold air into your duct system? It really hurts your energy costs when it’s 20 degrees in February, and the leaky ducting between your indoor HVAC filter and your air handler is sucking in this cold air and reheating it. But what about the other stuff sucking into those leaky joints? I’m talking about dust, mold spores, insulation particles, etc. You see the picture. If your house is continually dusty and you don’t know why- maybe this is your problem.
Our company performs free evaluations for clients interested in having their ductwork sealed. Whether it be residential or commercial, we can provide you a free estimate based on our analysis of your HVAC system. Check out the before and after pictures below of the ductwork we sealed last week. Every single HVAC joint in the attic of this home had enormous cracks like the one seen in the picture. After we sealed these joints, I would expect their bills to drop 30%-40%. In some cases, flex duct is completely disconnected and just pumping air into the attic or crawlspace. Don’t look for more insulation when you may get more bang for your buck with sealing the HVAC system. Call today for a free estimate.