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.
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
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
Perhaps one of the most practical ways to add a bit of character to the home is through the addition of a canopy. These decorative accents are available in a number of styles and can be fitted over doors, windows, patios and many more. Not only do they look good, but they also have a number of practical purposes as they can offer protection to you and your home in a number of circumstances. Here are a few reasons your home could benefit from a canopy
No matter what the style of your home is, you should be able to find a canopy to suit.… Read the rest
Very few homeowners realize the need to drain a few gallons of water from your water heater twice a year. Regardless of the type of water heater you have, gas or electric, water heaters can develop a build up of sediment at the bottom of the tank. This build up can cause the water heater to operate inefficiently, shortening the life span of the appliance. Prior to draining water from your tank, you need to understand the proper way and safety concerns of performing this task. It is very important that when you are doing this maintenance to your water heater, you make sure the appliance is turned off and that you protect yourself from a potential burn.… Read the rest
The thought of moving into a new house or apartment is known to cause a lot of stress onto the average person. Added onto that stress is the thought of your plants and flowers, of which you’ve spent precious hours and effort to grow, either dying during the move or needing to be thrown out. We’ve listed 7 easy steps for you to keep your green thumb alive as you move and transport your plants from one location to another!
Get some shipping boxes from your local grocery store, Wal-Mart, or post office. Aim to ship your plant(s) out early in the week so that your package doesn’t get stuck in transit at the Post Office over the weekend.… 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
One of the most important things you should do before purchasing a home is to have it checked out by a professional. They will be able to investigate your potential home for termites, mold, water damage and a host of other problems. These building inspections could save you from making one of the biggest financial blunders in your life. The following are the top five reasons it’s a good investment to have a building inspected before you decide to purchase it.
1. It Allows You Peace of Mind
A home inspection will help you better understand the condition that your potential home is in and if there are any defects.… Read the rest
Came across this a/c systems evaporator coil today. It’s amazing how lazy some people are. If you pay a professional to do a job, you expect to get a professional job done. The coil was so off level, condensation was standing on the left side of the pan whenever the a/c was running. Here in Texas, that’s most of the year. After years of this happening, the pan finally rusted through and is now leaking into the secondary pan and beyond to the plenum. The plenum is leaking onto the ceiling and wall of the bedroom below. Now we have a huge mess with water damage and mold.… 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
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