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Duct Testing May Be the Key to Better AC Performance This Year

duct-sealing-with-caulkingThe performance of your air conditioning system is not as short-term as “will it keep my house cool today?” Great AC performance is about getting the most from the system each year for the lowest cost, and then keeping that performance level for the next year, and the next, until the point where replacement is the cost-effective next step.

When you take this long view of air conditioning performance, regular duct testing becomes a vital part. We recommend homeowners have this service done every 3 to 5 years—or right now if they haven’t done it already.

Why Is Duct Testing Important?

The ducts in your house are deceptive parts of it. They hide from view so people rarely think about them or consider them too important. But they’re essential not only for cooling the house, but also for heating it and for air circulation at any time of the year. Poor ductwork not only affects cooling and heating, it can create major indoor air quality troubles and a spike in energy costs.

What Does Duct Testing Look For?

When our technicians test the ducts of a house, they’re looking to discover how airtight the ventilation system is. The ducts of the ventilation system need to be airtight along their length to maintain air pressure. Breaches, such as small leaks or gaps between joints, cause air pressure to drop. This reduces comfort around the house, creates uneven cooling, and puts additional pressure on the AC to make up for the difference.

During duct testing, our technicians seal off the registers around the room and then attach a powerful vacuum to the ventilation system. The vacuum raises the pressure in the sealed duct network. We use manometers to measure the pressure. If it starts dropping, we can tell the ducts are compromised. The faster the drop, the more serious the leakage in the ducts. Using this data, we can tell what work needs to be done to make the ducts airtight again.

What Is the Benefit for the AC?

Air conditioning performance is far better once air leaks in the ducts are sealed. Here are the main improvements to AC performance:

  • No loss of air pressure. When air pressure drops, the air handler of the AC cannot effectively send conditioned air to all the rooms. Comfort will fade as airflow from room vents drops.
  • Improved energy efficiency. Around 30% of the conditioned air passing through the vents vanishes through air leaks—and that’s air you’ve already paid to cool. This money goes to waste as the air conditioner puts in extra effort to compensate.
  • Even cooling. As air escapes through the ducts, some rooms will not receive as much cool air as others. This results in hot spots around the house.
  • Better air quality. Gaps in the ducts allow for dust and debris (including mold) to get into the ventilation system from closed-off sections of the house. This can make for unpleasant and unhealthy air. Probably bad odors as well.

We offer complete air conditioning service in Brighton, MI, including duct services that improve air conditioning.

Schedule duct testing with First Choice Heating & Cooling. If your home had a voice … it would call First Choice!

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