Solving an Expensive Problem: DIY Repair Guide to Fixing Leaky HVAC Ducts

leaking hvac ducts diy

Did you know that leaky duct work can increase your energy bill by as much as 30% in states like Colorado, with our warm summers and cold winters?

That’s huge—especially considering that leaking duct work is an easily prevented problem.

Think about it like this. For every $1 you spend on your energy bill, 30 cents are being wasted. Over months (and indeed in some cases, years) this can add up to hundreds of dollars literally floating away.

There’s some good news: fixing your leaking duct work isn’t that difficult. If you consider yourself to be a bit handy around the house, you might find that it’s a job you can complete on your own as many other homeowners have. However, you may want to consider hiring a professional if it sounds difficult or you just want to make sure that the job is done perfectly.

In today’s post, we’ll be going over the most common warning signs that you have leaks in your HVAC duct work. Then we’ll discuss how you can resolve some of these problems on your own, and when you might want to consider contacting a professional like our team here at Best Buy Heating and Air.

Whether you DIY or hire an HVAC company like us, one thing is for sure: fixing the leaks will pay for itself quickly. Left unattended, leaking ducts will become very expensive indeed. This is one of those home repairs you can’t afford to ignore!

Let’s get started by discussing what to look for:

Common Signs of Leaking HVAC Duct Work in Your Colorado Home

leaky air ducts

While it isn’t the end-all-be-all determining factor as to whether you have duct leaks, a clear indication that something isn’t working as intended is to have a higher energy bill in the summer and the winter.

You can narrow things down by looking for other signs of leaking ducts—but if those signs aren’t present, you may have another problem that needs to be resolved. If it’s summertime, make sure to check out our post How to Know if You Should Repair or Replace Your Air Conditioner. If it’s winter when you’re reading this, you might want to look over our post DIY Tips: How to Identify & Fix Common Furnace Problems Before Winter.

(While we’re on the topic of other resources from the blog, you really can’t miss our post HVAC Tips & Energy Saving Tricks for New Homeowners in Colorado, especially if you’re new to the Windsor, Fort Collins, or Loveland areas.)

So, we’ve established that your energy bill can be a signal that you have leaky ducts. What else?

The next thing to look for is unusual amounts or quickly accumulating dust in one or more rooms of the home. This can be an indication of leaking, since dust that should normally be caught by your air filters is somehow dispersing where it shouldn’t be.

During your DIY duct inspection, you may also come across signs of peeling or cracked sealant, exposed metal tape, or duct tape where previous repairs may have been conducted, either by yourself or the previous homeowner. These areas are the most likely culprits to spring a new leak if they weren’t professionally sealed—and even then, the wear and tear of time can spring old leaks.

Finally, for the duct work that’s visible in your home (such as in the garage or attic), you might find crushes, tangles, or kinks in the body of the duct. These are perhaps the most likely locations for leaks to take place, since they don’t have much protection compared to other locations in your home.

How to DIY Repair Leaking Residential HVAC Ducts

fix leaking hvac ducts

After your inspection, you may have found some leaks in your duct work. That’s actually the hardest part of the job—finding the leaks. Once you know where they are, the rest is relatively simple.

Start by sealing any holes, loose connections, or worn out joints by using metal duct tape (this is a bit different than the “regular” duct tape you can pick up at the store and tends to be a bit stronger and will last significantly longer). You may also want to consider using duct mastic sealant if available.

If you have areas of the home where ducts are exposed—again, usually in the attic or garage—you may want to consider insulating these areas if they’ve been proven to leak more often than you’d like. Insulating the duct work will improve the overall efficiency of your HVAC system whether there are leaks or not, and that can save you money in the long run.

If You Want the Job Done Perfectly, Hire a Pro

Whether you’re certain that you have leaking ducts or if you have rising energy costs and you don’t know why, our team of professionals are standing by to help you. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions, or if you’re ready to get professional assistance, you may also make a service request here or by calling us at (970) 218-0414.

We look forward to serving you!

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