A central heating and air conditioning system can cost you a pretty penny on repairs. This is why, to improve energy efficiency, people are always looking for a way to upgrade their A/C or furnace. While major A/C and furnace repairs should always be performed by a professional heating and air condition service in Arlington TX, there are some repairs that a person can do on their own.
There’s a certain satisfaction in getting your hands dirty and repairing any household item. However, do not fool yourself into thinking that fixing small problems on your own makes you an expert. DIY tricks only look easy on the surface and you find yourself saying, “I can do that”. But when you settle down for the actual repair, things get messy. This is why professionals at heating and air condition service in Arlington TX recommend that, “When in doubt, call a professional.”
Nowadays, you can find many tutorials on YouTube that claim ‘you can do it on your own’. In case of an A/C or furnace system’s leaky air ducts, you probably can. According to heating and air condition service in Arlington TX, you can improve your home’s cooling or heating system’s efficiency by 20% if the ductwork installed is sealed properly. Other than that, a duct sealed properly also improves air quality.
Now that winter is near, we all are scrambling to get our furnace up and running. Warm, toasty nights with a hot mug of coffee topped with marshmallows are what we all dream about. But wait! You went down the basement and turned on your furnace for a test run. However, the heat from the ducts does not reach the rooms.
Before calling a heating and air condition service in Arlington TX, why not try to fix this on your own? Sealing ductwork is quite easy and does not require any heavy tools.
Supplies Needed For the Repair
- A fog machine
- Foil-backed tape
- Mastic (You can easily buy this waterproof sealant from Home Depot)
- Duct tape
- Huge plastic wrap
- R6 wrap insulated with foil
How to Find Where the Leak Is
Sealing the Filters and the Vents
The first step is to seal off all the vents that are in your house. To better locate the leak, the duct system needs to be pressurised so that the air does not have any outlet. Use the plastic wrap and cover all the air registers with it. Secure the plastic wrap with duct tape by applying it in a frame. If the air registers are big, it is better to double the plastic wrap to make sure that no air escapes.
Use the Fog Machine to Find the Leak
A fog machine makes it extremely easy to find a leak in the duct. The best connect point for the fog machine is the place where the duct work meets the furnace filter. Remove the filter and face the fog machine towards the duct work. Cover this entire area with a black cloth so that the smoke does not spread.
Now, turn the fog machine on and keep it on until you see the fog coming out from the leak. An important point to remember is that the area where you connected the fog machine must be covered completely or the entire basement will fill gas. This can be extremely dangerous for people who have asthma. Therefore, heating and air condition service in Arlington TX advices to perform this step with great care.
Red Zones of Leaks
The three areas where most of the leaks occur are:
- Near the furnace, at the connection point
- Above air supply ducts
- The area where the duct work meets the drywall to the air registers
When you have located the leak, it’s time to apply the mastic. To avoid any mess, heating and air condition service in Arlington TX recommends that you wear a rubber glove and then apply the mastic on the holes. Cover the holes, as well as two inches of its surrounding area with mastic, so that the tear does not extend.
Replace the Duct tape
Most professionals of heating and air condition service in Arlington TX recommend that a duct work be installed in the basement. However, if the duct is not insulated properly, insects can damage it within a year.
Once the mastic is applied, to make sure that the air does not escape in the case sealant was not applied properly, cover the area with the foil-backed duct tape. Do not use normal duct tape, as it quickly loses its strength over time and does not prevent air loss.
Insulate the Entire Duct
Once the holes are sealed with mastic and covered with foil-backed duct tape, it’s time to cover the entire duct work with R6 foil wrap. When all the ducts are covered, to secure the R6 foil in its place, circle the duct with foil-backed duct tape.
The reason why heating and air condition service in Arlington TX recommends every covering backed with foil is because foil can last for a long time under any weather conditions.
If you are doing this repair in summer on your own then, it is better to fuel up because the temperature in the basement or the attic can exceed 100°C. If your furnace is old and you haven’t tested it once during the entire season, it is better to call a heating and air condition service in Arlington TX. Repairing a furnace on your own can be quite dangerous, especially if you haven’t done any maintenance on it.
Of course, if you find the project a tad bit taxing, it is better to call for help. A professional of heating and air condition service in Arlington TX will do this repair more efficiently and probably under an hour.