Sealing Duct Work Leaks

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 29,753
    Heating and cooling expert Yancey Lowe demonstrates how to seal duct work leaks.

    Yancey Lowe: Hi, I am Yancey Lowe. I am General Manager of Utility Service Express. I am here today to show you a few quick ways to improve your heating and cooling needs.

    Today, we're going to go over ductwork and air-leaks. What I mean by this is as you can notice in ductwork, it is a multiple, separate pieces of metal connected together. Sometimes, the problem we have is, is after a couple of years, this stuff is pretty heavy and it will set or even shift and this tape sometimes will peel off or fall.

    So by doing this, the first thing I want to mention is safety. In the summer time, nothing of this will be temperature-wise dangerous, but in the winter time, this guy right here is called the flue pipe. This is for the air after it's been burnt in the furnace will escape and go out to the outdoors. This thing gets extremely hot sometimes during the winter. We're going to leave our unit on and do this but we're going to make sure to keep very good amount and not to make contact with this.

    So with that in mind, while my unit is turning, I am going to feel around to the obvious places to where metal is attached to metal. So what we're going to do is use our hand and go to the obvious connections and feel for air-leaks which I can feel a little bit air coming out right here. Every little bit, it might not feel much, but every little bit takes away from the efficiency of your machine and its ability to cool your house.

    What I have here is called foil tape. I picked this up at the local hardware store. It's relatively cheap and it's relatively easy to find. There's different types of foil tape but on the label, it will directly tell you if it is suitable for our HVAC needs, this one is. So what I am going to do here is you'll notice that it's a foil based tape with a paper back. You look at and fill the air, it seems like I am leaking air from about a three to four inch place. I am going to peel as you can see the foil based tape has a paper backing, cut off about five or six inches, I usually use a little bit more and as you will also see is this stuff is pretty limber and it's easy to tear. I am letting my tape down, kind of take it in both hands, check your air, check that, just to follow the tape is easy as it looks and make sure on both hands, take my hand and fluently roll it down both ends until you can visually feel and see that it's sealed and the way we are going to tell if this was a successful tape is we're going to just take our hand around back over. No air, so there we go, that's it. That's how we fix the problem. By doing this, even though I know it seems a little bit simple, but by doing this throughout the ductwork that you can get to and stopping every leak you have, you can really, really increase the efficiency of your machine, increase the ability of it to cool or heat your house instead of having the air coming to one room and you can also save on power bills. Next thing that we're going to do is go into registers and vents.