How to Keep Your Ducts Sealed and Improve Performance

Maintaining your ducts is essential for getting the most out of your system. To ensure optimal performance, start by sealing air leaks with putty or metal tape and insulating all accessible ducts. Never use adhesive tape, as it is not durable. If you have a modern residential air duct system, it is likely constructed with fiberglass panels or sheet metal ducts lined inside with a fiberglass duct lining.

Products marketed to coat and encapsulate duct surfaces can help prevent dust and dirt particles from being released into the air. Cleaning the air ducts periodically is also recommended, as dirt can accumulate over time. To find companies that offer duct cleaning services, contact the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA). Sealing ducts can also help improve indoor air quality by reducing the risk of contaminants entering the system.

If you are planning to install new heating and cooling equipment, a well-designed and sealed duct system can allow you to downsize to a smaller, less expensive system. Knowledge about cleaning air ducts is still in its early stages, so it is important to be aware of proper procedures. Air duct cleaning service providers may need to apply a chemical biocide to the inside of the ducts to eliminate bacteria (germs) and fungi (mold) and prevent future biological growth. Products specifically designed for use in ducts or as ducts themselves should be tested according to standards established by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).The most effective way to avoid contamination is to prevent water and dirt from entering the system. By following these steps, you can keep your ducts sealed and improve their performance.