How Duct Sealing and Coating Can Improve Indoor Air Quality 

It is normal to want our homes to be safe and comfortable for ourselves and our families. Our house uses energy by 31% for space heating and 12% for space cooling. Since we use our heating and cooling system extensively, sealing and coating its ducts is important.

Why is duct sealing necessary?—These heating and cooling systems are not accessible for a visible inspection, so mold is normal to grow inside the duct. But the vents get clogged if these ducts don’t get the proper assessment and timely maintenance. The clogged ducts then collect dust and debris and release it from the supply registers right under your nose in your home!

So, is duct sealing worth it?–YES!

What are under ducts and HVAC systems?

Basically, ductwork is a system of ducts, metal, or synthetic tubes that transport air from heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment throughout the home.

Here are the main parts of HVAC ductwork–

1. Ducts

The duct trunk and pipe are the main channels connecting air handlers and provide a pathway for blowing warm and cool air throughout the home. These pipes are either made of galvanized steel or aluminum.

2. Duct Transitions

The duct transition connects the duct trunk and pipe.

3. Plenum

A plenum is a large box that stores air for the HVAC system. There are 2 plenums in an HVAC system ductwork–

  • Supply Plenum: Ducts fill heated/cooled air in this plenum. The supply plenum pushes the air inside the room.
  • Return Plenum: Ducts fill already present air outside the room in this plenum. The return plenum returns air to the heating/cooling process.

4. Flues

This component helps to vent gasses outdoors. If the return plenum doesn’t recycle return air, then the air goes outside through flues.

Ductwork can last up to 10 to 15 years. However, you must maintain the HVAC system regularly. The items of this maintenance include–

  1. Changing the filter every 1-3 months
  2. Servicing or tune-ups seasonally
  3. Removing debris from the outside unit
  4. Checking/Replacing refrigerant insulation

The average life expectancy of your home’s HVAC system depends on how much maintenance you use. Here’s the approximate time frame to maintain your home’s HVAC system–

  • No maintenance – 15 to 19 years
  • Little maintenance – 18 to 20 years
  • Some maintenance – 20 to 25 years
  • High maintenance – 25 years

What is duct sealing and coating, and why is it necessary?

Duct sealing and coating is sealing leaking and coating the interior duct surfaces. Sometimes a leak or unsealed seams within the ducts can cause a significant loss of energy and increased utility bills.

Here are the most obvious signs of duct leakage:

  • Unsecured access panels
  • Visible gaps between the joints
  • Cracks in the ductwork
  • Clogged air filters
  • High energy bill

Moreover, the air contaminants like dust, debris, and other allergens can easily find their way into your home through these leaks. So this sealing and coating can reduce cubic feet per minute (CFM), decrease the energy bill (average 20%), and improve air quality inside your home.

Benefits of duct sealing/coating for improved air quality 

Duct sealing is necessary if you want to improve the air quality of your home. Here are the benefits of sealing and coating:

1. Reduce airborne contaminants

The cracks in the duct allow airborne contaminants like dust, pollen, pet dander, and VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) to pass through inside the house. Duct sealing and coating help to address this issue and reduce indoor pollution levels.

2. Reduce allergy and asthma issues

If your family has asthma or allergies, duct sealing can reduce sneeze-inducing particles like dust, pet dander, and pollen from the house.

3. Reduce and limit backdrafting

Gas-powered home appliances like dryers and water heaters produce carbon monoxide during combustion. So a ventilation system is responsible for moving this dangerous gas. But if there are leaks in ducts, then instead of throwing the gas out, they instead get reintroduced inside the home. So, coating and sealing help to mitigate this backdrafting.

4. Increase the lifespan of the HVAC system

Duct sealing and coating also help extend the HVAC system’s lifespan. The duct sealing and coating helps to reduce the likelihood of equipment malfunction or system failure.

So, Is HVAC duct coating worth it?–Absolutely, yes!

What is the process for duct sealing/coating?

Now that we know the benefits of it, how does duct sealing work?

Step #1: Inspection

The duct sealing or coating process begins with the ductwork to determine the extent of damage and leaks. To do this step, you need specialized tools such as–

  • Pressure gauges,
  • Thermal imaging cameras, and
  • Smoke generators.

Step #2: Preparation

Before sealing or coating, you must clean the ductwork to remove any debris or contaminants that could interfere with the process. Professionals use techniques such as compressed air or vacuum cleaning for this step.

Step #3: Sealing

There are 3 duct sealing methods, i.e., Duct Sealing TapeMastic Duct Sealant, and Aeroseal Duct Sealant. This sealing method gets used in the scenario of a minor leak. The technician uses a sealant to patch the holes. This process includes applying the sealant to the seams and joints of the ductwork.

To do this step, technicians use brushes and rollers or spraying equipment. As a result, the sealant dries quickly, preventing air leaks.

Step #4: Coating

The next step is for damages that are more extensive. The process involves spraying a special formulation of coating material inside the ductwork. Creating a durable layer inside the ductwork is the main goal. After the coating is applied, it takes several hours for it to dry.

Step #5: Testing

Once the sealing or coating is complete, the technician performs tests to see if the ductwork is functioning optimally. They measure airflow rates like CFM, check leaks, and verify the HVAC system’s operation.

Step #6: Monitoring

The last step of duct sealing and coating is to monitor the ductwork with routine inspections. The technicians also clean the ductwork (as necessary) to maintain optimal performance and efficiency.

Other ways to clear or clean your HVAC systems

Here are some ways to clean or clear your HVAC systems other than just sealing or coating your air ducts –

1. Replacement of the filters

It would help if you started by changing the air filters to prevent the buildup of dust and debris in the HVAC system. If your filters are used frequently and are of a certain type, we recommend changing them every 1-3 months.

2. Clean around the air duct system

You should clean the outdoor unit if there are leaves, branches, or other debris around it. As a result, you can improve the airflow and prevent further damage.

3. Clean the evaporator and condenser coils

The coils accumulate dust and debris over time. Whenever you clean the coils of an evaporator or condenser, use a soft brush and vacuum. It is recommended that you do this every week or every 15 days.

4. Test your AC

Before calling an HVAC professional, you should always set the AC thermostat to a lower temperature and see if the cool air begins to come out or not.

5. Remove mold or mildew from the HVAC system

It’s best to use cleaning agents and disinfectants to remove mold or mildew from the HVAC system.

6. Hire a professional air duct technician

You must get the ducts checked or cleaned every 3 to 5 years since clogged ducts are bacteria, insects, and dust mites’ favorite holiday destination! It is extremely important to hire a professional HVAC technician for regular maintenance. They can help clean, lubricate, and adjust various system components promptly. For proper services, you can contact an expert that provides dryer vent cleaning, air duct cleaning, and air duct repair services.

Contact Air Duct Sealing & Coating Professionals – OK Duct Cleaning

In Oklahoma, Oklahoma Duct Cleaning is a leading service provider for all air duct sealing and coating needs. You can contact us for our services or ask us for a quote on your required services.

Conclusion

Hence, sealing and coating your ducts is a simple yet effective way to improve the air quality in your home or office. It helps reduce the contaminants that enter the air and allows your HVAC system to run more efficiently.

So, if you want to breathe easy and ensure your indoor air is clean and healthy, consider having your ducts professionally sealed and coated today.

Your lungs will thank you!

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