If you are losing any kind of air under the home or in the attic then you need it. If it is 95 degrees outside and there is a nice cool breeze under your house, and there is a breeze in your attic, then you have a duct problem.
A way you can find out is if a technician goes by and cleans your system or does the maintenance, they should visually inspect the duct system and can let you know if they see anything. Another thing we do is if people are not sure if they want to do a duct sealing or not, we go ahead and send the crew out and do a pressure test on that duct system. It will give us a reading of how much air is being lost, and then at that point the homeowner can make a decision if they want to go ahead with it or not.
We have done the test before where it came back with 4%-5% loss, it is not really worth worrying about it. We have also done the test where it come back 20%, and we need to go ahead and do a duct sealing. If you are not sure and you want to have a technician come out, we will come out, hook up a machine, do a test on it, and see where we are.
According to Energy Star 20%-30% of your air is being lost from the duct system. In this area it could be a little bit less because a lot of older systems have duct board. It is better as far as sealing than metal duct. It is not healthier, but it is better in that aspect. You don’t see quite that much of a loss of 20%-30% but we have seen 20%-24% loss in some cases. If you are not sure, we can come out, hook up the machine, do a test and get a digital reading to see where you are with that duct loss and you can make the decision.
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Heating and air is the majority of your energy usage, people don’t stop and think about that too much. You can’t have just anybody do it because heating and air is one of those things that you are either going to pay for now or pay for it later.