How To Check Your Air Ducts for Leaks

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How To Check Your Air Ducts for Leaks

Article Overview

Are you noticing that your energy bills skyrocket in the middle of the summer or winter? It may be tempting to blame your HVAC unit, but the problem could lie deep within the framework of your ducts. Air leaks can place a large strain on not only your HVAC system but also your wallet.

At Comfort Masters Heating & Air Conditioning, our team works hard to give our clients all the information they need to make informed decisions about their HVAC care. Here is more information on how to tell if your HVAC unit is suffering from an air leak.

What Are the Signs of an Air Duct Leak?

1. High Utility Bills

One of the biggest and most obvious signs of an air duct leak is higher utility bills. Your air ducts act as the transportation way for conditioner air, so when there is a leak, some of the conditioned air escapes before it can get to the areas that need it the most. As a result, your air conditioning unit has to work harder to cool your home. This extra work further strains the unit which then requires more energy to keep running, resulting in higher energy bills.

2. You Are Dusting More

If you run your finger over a surface and continuously notice a large amount of dust, your air ducts may be to blame. Leaking ductworks can pull in built-up dust in your attic and basement and distribute it throughout your home. While dust itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, over time this problem can negatively affect the air quality and be harmful to those with allergies or respiratory issues.

3. There Are Hot and Cold Spots Throughout Your Home

Another tell-tale sign of an air duct leak is hot and cold spots within your home. Uneven cooling is a result of the leaking air collecting in one area and other areas not being able to get conditioned air as a result. This can create a very uncomfortable home environment and strain on your HVAC unit. If left unaddressed, this can lower the lifespan of your unit.

How to Locate Leaks in Your Ductwork


Locating leaks in your ductwork may seem complicated and intimidating, but we promise it doesn’t have to be. The best way to find out whether or not your air ducts are suffering from a leak is to contact your local HVAC specialist. A professional HVAC team, such as Comfort Masters Heating & Air Conditioning, can help you find the source of the leak and provide necessary repairs to ensure the proper functioning and long lifespan of your unit.

1. Ductwork Inspection

Locating leaks in your ductwork starts with getting an inspection from your trusted HVAC company. During the inspection, the ductwork will be carefully examined for obvious tears or loose fittings. All problem areas will be marked with a grease pencil so that they can be fixed once the inspection is complete. 

2. Turn Your HVAC System On Full Blast

Turning your HVAC system on full blast can make it easier to find the less obvious leaks. Our technicians use a smoke pencil to find the source of the leaks. Once the flame begins to twirl in an odd pattern, we mark the location with the grease pencil so it can be fixed once the rest of the ductwork is inspected.

3. Check the Duct Joints

The area where two air ducts connect is one of the most common places for leaks to occur. Over time, this area can weaken due to wear and tear, resulting in loose fittings. Our team makes sure to run our hands underneath every ductwork joint to ensure that there is no airflow coming from them. If there is, we fix the connection to make sure it is properly secured.

4. Signs of Duct Tape

If you have purchased an older home, one tell-tale sign that your ductwork may have a leak is to look for duct tape. Duct tape is often used by homeowners as a DIY bandaid to try and fix an air duct leak. While it may initially solve the problem, it doesn’t last and the problem can become worse over time. Our team looks for these signs during every air duct inspection, and if we notice duct tape, we remove it and properly seal the duct so that your HVAC system and home are properly protected. 

Protecting Your HVAC Unit With Proper Air Duct Leak Inspections and Repairs

Comfort Masters Heating & Air Conditioning has been faithfully helping both residential and commercial clients of DFW since our founding in 2003. If you need a new HVAC unit installation, routine maintenance, ductwork inspection, or repair services, you can contact our team today to schedule an appointment. Our staff is on call 24/7 so that you never have to worry about a busted HVAC unit causing your family discomfort. Contact us today!

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