Before You Purchase a New Furnace

Ask most homeowners how they might save big money on heating and cooling their house, and you’ll probably hear things like “replace the furnace” or “insulate the attic.” One thing you’re not likely to hear? “Seal the ducts.” Ask most homeowners what the number one complaint is within the home…hot and cold rooms! Which means poor air flow to specific rooms and not much air flow coming from the vents.


The further away the problem room is from the HVAC system, the harder it is to get air to those areas. Why? Because it leaks along the ductwork line though small gaps or cracks. If you have accessibility to sections of your ductwork in your home, place your hand around the turns and elbows and you can feel the leakage. By sealing from the inside of the ductwork your air flow is improved and the air can now reach those hard to heat rooms.


Fixing leaky ducts is one of the very best ways to make a home more efficient and save homeowners money on their heating and cooling bills. The biggest value is the overall comfort within your home. Your homes air balancing will be greatly improved. No more hot and cold rooms! “Leaky ducts can reduce heating and cooling systems efficiency by as much as 20 percent” states a 2009 EPA report. “Sealing and insulating ducts increases efficiency, lowers your energy bills, and can often pay for itself in energy savings.” According to research, sealing ducts “has twice the impact of upgrading the heating equipment and 500 percent more impact than upgrading the windows.”


Chris McKinney, a building science specialist with Entek Corporation in Vancouver, has long known the importance of fixing leaky ducts to improve a home’s energy efficiency. “We always do a duct test before replacing the heating system,” McKinney says. “You can do it after, but we think customers prefer to know…I mean, if you had eight holes in the bottom of your boat, wouldn’t you want to know before you had work done on it?” Many times, homeowners come to Entek thinking that they need a bigger air conditioning unit or an expensive overhaul to their heating system; but, says McKinney, some of these customers simply need to seal their ducts to experience a warmer/cooler home and less expensive heating/cooling bills.


“People come to us and say, ‘There’s dust in the house,’ or ‘There are mice in the house,’”

McKinney says. “But these are common with duct problems.” Your house wants to regulate itself, McKinney explains. If it’s cold outside and the heater is on, but your ducts aren’t properly sealed, warm air will get out and cold air will be sucked in. The opposite is true in the summertime – cooler air goes outside and warm air, usually from the attic, which can get up to 140 degrees on a hot, summer day, is pulled down into your living areas.


In the not-so-distant past, duct installers used duct tape to seal the gaps. But duct tape becomes brittle over time and, eventually, those gaps open and allow air to flow in and out of your house. With a product like Aeroseal, which is pumped into the duct system as a clear, aerosolized vinyl polymer, plugs any openings with a glue-like liquid and hardens after about 30 minutes, your ducts can stay sealed for about 40 years, saving the average homeowner on their monthly heating/cooling bills. The cost of Aeroseal? About $1,500 for the typical home, McKinney says.


Used in conjunction with other efficiency methods – hand-sealing exposed ducts, replacing an old furnace and insulating your attic, for instance – the Aeroseal can bring a home into the upper echelons of energy efficiency.“We’ve been using it for about four years,” McKinney says of the Aeroseal product. “Hand sealing is great, but you can only do the ducts that you can reach. Aeroseal seals the ducts that we can’t access by hand.”


If homeowners are looking for a “Green” “Energy Saving Solution “and to create more comfort within their home, have one of our Aeroseal technicians come out to test your homes leakage.