FORT WORTH DALLAS HOME INSPECTOR ON LEAKING A/C DUCTS.
CENTRAL HEATING AND COOLING SYSTEMS USE AN AIR DISTRIBUTION OR DUCT SYSTEM TO CIRCULATE HEATED AND/OR COOLED AIR TO ALL THE CONDITIONED ROOMS IN A HOUSE. EVEN WHEN PROPERLY DESIGNED, DUCT SYSTEMS MUST BE INSTALLED CORRECTLY TO BE EFFICIENT, MAINTAIN UNIFORM TEMPERATURES THROUGHOUT THE HOUSE, OPERATE QUIETLY, AND NOT ADVERSELY IMPACT COMFORT OR INDOOR AIR QUALITY
AT LEAHY’S INSPECTIONS WE LOOK THE SYSTEM OVER AND IF THE DUCT WORK IS BAD AND LEAKING, I MAKE THE RECOMMENDATION TO REPAIR OR REPLACE IT.
MAKE SURE DUCTS ARE PROPERLY SEALED AND INSULATED IN ALL NON-AIR-CONDITIONED SPACES RUNNING FROM OUR AIR CONDITIONERS AND HEATING SYSTEMS.
DUCT LEAKS CAN BE SEALED USING MASTIC OR ACRYLIC-ADHESIVE FOIL TAPE. MASTIC ADHERES WELL TO MOST SURFACES AND PROVIDES AN EFFECTIVE LONG-TERM SEAL. MASTIC ALONE MAY BE USED TO SEAL CRACKS LESS THAN ¼” WIDE. FOIL TAPE CARRIES A 20-YEAR GUARANTEE IF APPLIED PROPERLY.
ANY SEALANT SHOULD CARRY THE UNDERWRITERS LABORATORY RATING (UL-181)SPECIFIC FOR THAT PARTICULAR TYPE OF DUCT. MOST DUCT MANUFACTURERS ARE NOW LISTING THE CLOSURE PRODUCTS THAT THEY ALLOW TO BE USED WITH THEIR DUCTS.
IF YOUR DUCTWORK IS UNINSULATED, CONSIDER ADDING 1½” TO 3″ OF INSULATION AND WRAPPING WITH AN EXTERIOR VAPOR RETARDER. SOME BUILDING CODES REQUIRE THAT DUCTWORK HAVE A MINIMUM INSULATION VALUE.
IF YOU SEE THE CONTRACTOR BRINGING IN DUCT TAPE, HIRE SOMEONE ELSE. IN THE PAST, MANY SYSTEMS WERE SEALED WITH A GRAY, RUBBER-ADHESIVE, CLOTH DUCT TAPE. THIS TAPE WILL EVENTUALLY FAIL DUE TO ITS SHORT-LIVED RUBBER-BASED GLUE. IF YOU SEE THIS KIND OF TAPE IN AN EXISTING HOME, BE SURE TO CHECK ALL AREAS WHERE IT IS ATTACHED TO THE DUCTS.
WHY DUCT INSTALLATION AND SEALING ARE IMPORTANT
THE EFFICIENCY OF AIR DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS HAS BEEN FOUND TO BE 60-75% OR LESS IN MANY HOUSES BECAUSE OF INSUFFICIENT AND/OR POORLY INSTALLED DUCT INSULATION AND LEAKS IN DUCT SYSTEMS. PROPERLY DESIGNED AND INSTALLED DUCT SYSTEMS CAN HAVE EFFICIENCIES OF 80% OR MORE FOR LITTLE OR NO ADDITIONAL COST, POTENTIALLY SAVING A HOMEOWNER $50-200 OR MORE PER YEAR IN HEATING AND COOLING COSTS. DUCT SYSTEMS THAT LEAK AND/OR DO NOT DISTRIBUTE AIR PROPERLY THROUGHOUT THE HOUSE MAY MAKE SOME ROOMS TOO HOT AND OTHERS TOO COLD.
LEAKY AND UNBALANCED DUCT SYSTEMS FORCE CONDITIONED AIR OUTSIDE AND UNCONDITIONED AIR INTO THE HOUSE. THIS INCREASES HEATING AND COOLING COSTS AND MAY ALSO DRAW HUMIDITY, DUST, MOLD SPORES, AND OTHER CONTAMINANTS INTO A HOME FROM THE ATTIC, CRAWLSPACE, OR GARAGE AND RADON’S. MOST AIR CONDITIONING AND HEATING SYSTEMS REQUIRE SOME FORM OF DUCT WORK TO CHANNEL OR DIRECT THE AIR TO PLACES IN THE DWELLING WHERE THE CONDITIONED AIR IS NEEDED.
THERE ARE MANY TYPES OF DUCT WORK AVAILABLE AND OFTEN TIMES THE DUCT WORK CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE IN YOUR UTILITY BILLS. FOR THAT REASON, IT IS IMPORTANT THAT THE DUCT WORK IS INSTALLED CORRECTLY BY QUALIFIED INSTALLATION TECHNICIANS. A POOR INSTALLATION JOB WILL RESULT IN POOR PERFORMANCE, BAD AIR FLOW, LEAKY DUCT WORK SYSTEMS, AND HIGHER THAN USUAL UTILITY BILLS. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU HAVE QUALIFIED PEOPLE DESIGN AND INSTALL YOUR SYSTEM FROM START TO FINISH SO THAT YOU GET THE BEST AND HIGHEST PERFORMING DUCT WORK SYSTEM MONEY CAN BUY. IT IS ALSO CRITICAL THAT THE AIR CONDITIONING DUCT WORK SYSTEM BE DESIGNED FOR THE AIR CONDITIONING LOAD.
If you have fuel burning appliances in your home, you owe it to your family to have CO detectors installed. Carbon monoxide detectors are great devices to use when fuel-burning appliances are used in the home. They can be very useful for keeping watch on the CO levels in the home.
Carbon monoxide (CO) can be a sneaky killer, it’s colorless, odorless, poisonous gas that forms from incomplete combustion of fuels, such as natural or liquefied petroleum gas, oil, wood or coal.
• 170 people on average in the United States die every year from CO produced by non-automotive consumer products.… Read the rest
When people think about blood sucking insects, they first picture a mosquito or tick. Did you know bed bugs are also blood suckers. The tiny, sneaky insects are spreading so rapidly across the United States that almost no region or area is unbitten, a new survey suggests. The United States has seen a 50-fold increase in bed bug infestations over the last five years, according to the National Pest Management Association. An entomologist told MSNBC, “It’s like the return of the wooly mammoth,” as many of his peers had previously never seen a single bed bug in their careers. The outbreak has affected most parts of North America and Europe, especially in urban areas.… Read the rest
Although it seems quite expensive initially, when it comes to providing electricity for your household, solar power is the best way to go long-term wise. If you want to save money on your electricity bill or live a greener lifestyle, then you should consider solar power for the home.
The initial cost of solar panels is very hefty, often costing a homeowner tens of thousands of dollars. However, once you get solar panels, the cost of your electricity bill will go down or you may not have to pay anything for electricity at all.
Basically, solar panels are a one-time cost while you’ll need to pay electricity bills every single month for the rest of your life.… Read the rest
I’ve listened to some outrageous claims from window replacement companies. The usual sales tactic is how much return on your investment by replacing your windows you’ll get. The fact of the matter is the new windows could take anywhere from 13 to 20 years to receive your investment back. Unfortunately, a lot of consumers believe the window company’s claims. I hear this myth repeated many times while doing home inspections throughout the Dallas and Fort Worth areas.
Don’t get me wrong, new windows can be a very good thing, but it miffs me just a bit that a vast amount of dealers in the market try to hype the return to make it sound as if your investment will be recouped in no time at all.… Read the rest
1. Check gutters for leafs and debris and clean out if needed
2. Low areas in the yard or next to foundation need to be filled in. Low areas (negative grade toward home) will cause water to pond and if not corrected could leave you with some unwanted foundation problems. All grading around house should drop 6 inches every 10 ft away from the home.
3. If you used your fireplace over the winter, good time to have the chimney swept and cleaned and be ready for next winter.
4. Look for exterior paint issues, cracking, buckling and etc. Look for areas that need caulking.… Read the rest
During the hot Texas summer heat waves, all our hard work from the spring can go right out the window on our lawn and landscapes. Extra care needs to be done in order to keep the plants in our landscapes alive during the summer and especially during a heat wave. Here are some tips to keep your plants healthy and help them survive a heat wave.
Water, of course, is essential to keep your plants alive. If you are used to watering once a week, you will need to increase that to twice, and possible three times a week.
Note that young plants and trees that were planted during the spring will need extra care.… Read the rest
When I decided to become a home inspector, I got into a habit of inspecting things everywhere I went. I honestly cannot help myself anymore, it’s just what I do. Being a father and just loving kids in general, I started noticing things when I would go to playgrounds in the Arlington, Mansfield and Burleson areas with my own kids or with my nieces and nephews that worried me about their safety. I recently pulled some information from the CDC website I thought I would share to remind parents of how important it is to keep you children safe from serious injury.… Read the rest
Wouldn’t it be nice if the physically disabled could have accommodations to meet their needs right at home? Each room might reflect the design that provides adequate space, easy access, and storage for what is needed to maintain independence and a quality of life some people simply may take for granted.
Disabled Facilities Grants (DFG) benefit recipients regardless of age. For those who face the challenges of maintaining independence, Disabled Facilities Grants (DFG) are available. These grants address quality of life issues and focus on creating supportive home environments regardless of age. Through a DFG, a more active role at work, at school, and around town may be enjoyed.… Read the rest
Being a Fort Worth and Dallas area home inspector has taught me some simple methods homeowners can perform to help reduce your energy bills.
Homeowners can easily conduct a simple home energy audit for themselves to find and repair obvious issues. With a simple walk-through, you can spot many problems within the house.
Locating Air Leaks
It’s possible to save 5% to 30% per year in energy savings from reducing drafts in a home, and the home is generally much more comfortable afterward. Homeowners can check for indoor air leaks, such as gaps along the baseboard or edge of the flooring, and at junctures of the walls and ceiling.… Read the rest
If you find the constant scheduling of tasks or general chaos in your household is too much to handle, then perhaps investing in a family command center is good idea. There are many versions of a family command center and each one is specifically designed to fit different household and family needs. The best thing about creating a family command center is that it is a great DIY project, so it won’t end up costing a fortune to get your family’s duties back on track.
How to Create a Family Command Center
Materials & Location
The general materials you will need to create a simple family command center are:
- Bulletin/dry erase/chalk board
- Hammer/electric drill
- Measuring tape
- Writing utensils (markers or chalk)
Depending on the complexity of your creativity skills or budget, you can also add decorative measures, such as ribbons, bows or picture frames of each family member, but feel free to be as basic as possible.… Read the rest