Why is it important?
Studies indicate that 25%-40% of the heated or cooled air is lost—along with the money spent to heat or cool that air—through leaky ducts. Properly sized, installed, and sealed ductwork will make your heating and cooling systems significantly more efficient. Energy loss is not the only concern. Duct systems can also involve the comfort of your family, employees, tenants, or customers, as well as your indoor air quality. Testing the ducts will locate leaks or damage and focus repair work in the right areas.
A properly operating heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system will help reduce overall energy use—especially during hot summer days when air conditioners are working harder and putting a strain on the electric system—and will deliver greater comfort and cleaner air to every room.
How do you know if your duct system is in good condition?
The most reliable and cost-effective way to find out is to have a duct test performed by a qualified contractor or technician using the proper test equipment.
Duct testing is the process of using calibrated mechanical equipment to measure the amount of airflow that is lost through the duct system when it is at normal operating pressure. While some joints or seams may have only small leaks, other sections may be completely disconnected. Duct testing can indicate the relative leakiness of the ducts and help determine whether the duct system should be sealed, repaired,or renovated.
When to Test?
Duct testing is strongly recommended when a new heating and/or air conditioning unit is being installed. If the existing duct system is leaky and inefficient before the new unit is installed, it will still be leaky and inefficient after the new unit is installed—unless the ducts are tested and sealed by a qualified contractor. It does not make sense to install a new, energy-efficient heating and/or air conditioning unit unless the duct system is also energy efficient.
Testing should be performed anytime a building Is experiencing complaints with comfort issues, high energy costs or poor indoor air quality
What to do with the results?
If the test indicates the leakage is greater than acceptable, the ducts should be sealed, repaired, or renovated (replaced).