detecting leaks in ductworkAccording to the US Department of Energy, leaking ductwork inside a home or commercial building is the leading cause of air conditioning inefficiency in America. For those that might not be aware of what ductwork actually is, essentially, it’s the veins of your cooling system. It transfers warm air from the building into the cooling system, and then shuttles the recently chilled air back into the home or office building. Although we know that leaking ducts is not a great thing, detecting leaks in ductwork is one of the most difficult things to accomplish.

Here are a few tips to help you find leaks in ductwork and what you can do to:

Tip #1 – How to Find Leaks in Ductwork at Home or in the Office

Contrary to popular belief, finding a leaking duct system can be discovered by home or commercial building owners initially. In fact, finding a big leak is rather simple – as you can literally feel cool air blowing out of the ductwork or in areas that are close to the duct system. However, some smaller leaks in homes are a bit more difficult to find. But there are a few things you can do at home to find them.

  • Use the toilet paper method; which involves the use of toilet paper, ribbon or even incense sticks. Basically, what you’ll do is find the exposed ductwork and hold the toilet paper, ribbon or burning incense near the connected joints to see if air is leaking. You’ll notice a leak if the wind appears to swirl inconsistently.
  • Lack of cool air. If you’re not as adventurous as some home owners that try the above method, another thing you can do is monitor the problem is check out the actual temperature inside your home. If your thermostat is set to 68 degrees and it seems to take forever for your indoor air temperature to cool to that level; or if your AC system continually runs; it can be leaking ductwork.
  • Look at your energy bills. Since the root issue of leaking ducts is that cool air escapes during the summer and warm air escapes in winter when your heating unit is operational, this will impact your energy bill. If your bills are higher than usual, the culprit could be leaking ducts.

Tip #2 – Understand How Does Duct Leakage Happen so You Can Prevent it in the Future

If you’ve found a leaking ductwork system, and the ductwork repair company has made the repairs, you probably want to prevent it from happening again. Duct leakage is typically caused by two primary issues:

  • Small holes that appear inside the actual ducts due to several factors
  • Separation of the ducts from joints where they are connected together.

For the most part, ductwork leaks that occur in residential buildings come from joints where two pieces of ductwork are connected together via screw attachments. This can happen for several reasons such as:

  • When air circulates it is very dense and can cause the ducts to ‘shake loose’.
  • Some ducts are exposed to wind or other elements that enter roof areas and walls inside a home. This wind, combined with dirt, dust and debris can cause leaks.
  • Rodents that nest inside your walls and attics can get inside ductwork and literally chew their way through the ductwork. Their fecal material and urine can also cause duct leaks.

If you have the ductwork sealed by a professional company in Scottsdale, they will recommend fixing the root cause of the leaking ducts; so that it hopefully doesn’t happen again.

Tip #3 – Work With Professionals That Specialize in Sealing Ductwork Leaks

There are several good companies that have the right tools, equipment and experience to fix AC issues. However, repairing and sealing ductwork is a specialty that requires the fine touch of an expert. The best thing you can do is work with a duct sealing company in Scottsdale that has experience fixing ductwork in homes or commercial buildings similar to yours. These contractors understand the ins and outs of sealing ductwork leaks and will take proactive measures to ensure the issue doesn’t happen again soon – saving you money and stress in the short and long term.


Are you losing precious cool air from leaking air ducts? Call us at 480-359-7141 and we can help locate and seal the leak so that you can rest easy knowing your not losing any more air in your walls! 

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