Duct blaster testing is to air conditioning is to ductwork what pressure testing is to plumbing lines. The machine hooks up to your hvac system, usually at the air handler or furnace, and then pressurizes the lines. Once pressurized it can tell you exactly how much air you are losing and with some further testing where you are losing it. Once you know how much it is leaking you can get an idea of just how efficient or inefficient your hvac delivery system is.
Testing ductwork in residential HVAC systems for air tightness is essential to ensure a home will be energy efficient and comfortable. Tighter ducts help homes perform better by allowing conditioned air to travel to its intended destination. They also keep newly conditioned air from escaping to the outside of the home. More states and municipal code jurisdictions are including duct sealing and testing requirements in their energy codes for residential new construction. It is also a part of the RESNET HERS Rating process as well as a function of BPI Analysts when they perform energy audits.
This test can be performed at rough in, final inspection or on an existing home. If you are building a new construction we suggest one check at rough in and one at final.
Ducts leaking do a few things, the first and foremost is reduce the efficiency of your hvac system. Losing air out of your system leads your system running longer, your cooling to be out of balance, and your equipment working harder. In addition to all of this you are essentially leaving your duct open to the attic, basement or crawl space that it is installed in. By sealing these leaks your keep the air in your home separated from the air around the duct.
My ducts are leaking, what do I do? To fix leaking ducts is really a case by case situation. Some ducts may be able to be taped and sealed with mastic, some may require replacement. Our goal is to assess the condition of the ducts with the testing and give you our opinions. Even if you decide not to fix while we are on site we will give a detailed report of duct leakage and our recommendations so that you can return to it in the future.
As a home comfort expert we are in position to not only do the testing, but seal or replace problem ducts all in one location. If you would like to clean the ducts as well we can set up with our partners to do just that at the same time. Typically we recommend the duct blaster and sealing be done ahead of the cleaning.