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.
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
10 Easy Ways to Save Energy in Your Home
Most people don’t know how easy it is to make their homes run on less energy, and here at Leahy’s Inspections, we want to change that. Drastic reductions in heating, cooling and electricity costs can be accomplished through very simple changes, most of which homeowners can do themselves. Of course, for homeowners who want their homes to take advantage of the most up-to-date knowledge and systems in home energy-efficiency, Home inspector energy auditors can perform in-depth testing to find the best energy solutions for your particular home.
Why make your home more energy efficient?… Read the rest
While a deck can add style and a comforting place to entertain, it is far from a maintenance free addition. The proper maintenance is necessary to protect the life and appearance of your deck.
It is a common misconception that pressure treated wood, which is the wood most often used for decks, requires little maintenance. The pressure treating process involves the injection of chromated copper arsenate into the wood cells. Copper acts as a fungicide, while arsenic is an insecticide. While these chemicals protect against insects and fungus, they leave the surface vulnerable to the effects of rain and sun. Even redwood and cedar, two other common woods used for decks, can be damaged by the elements.… 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
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
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
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 recent bathroom trend has been to go for the modern look; incorporating stylish travertine or granite tiles, with an unusually shaped bathtub and a walk in shower. However, modern bathroom designs don’t suit every property and owners of period buildings have to take a different approach. Victorian themed bathrooms are becoming increasingly popular and are a great way to add a touch of class and individuality to your room. But how can you create such a look?
An ornamental sink
Sinks tend to be the focal point of any bathroom and people are naturally drawn to them due to the fact that a mirror is usually hung right above.… 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