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.
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
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
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
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
I recently performed my routine maintenance on the jacuzzi tub we have in the master bath. I thought I would share some of the tips I’ve picked up during my home inspection career. I’m always seeking to better my knowledge on questions that may come up during one of my home inspections.
All whirlpool bathtubs have a small amount of residual water left in the pipeline. Minerals in water begin a process of calcifying around the insides of your pipes. This hard scale build up not only restricts water flow, but becomes a perfect breading ground for infectious bacteria. As the algae breaks off, you will see it in your bath water as ugly black flecks.… 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
The number one question I get during home inspections is “How is the Foundation”. I decided to write this post to help people understand the North Texas area conditions regarding foundations. Movement in the foundation can be caused by many factors, the most common reason is differential soil movement. In the North Texas area many homes are sitting on top of expansive clay soils. Another term for this type of soil is “Sponge Soil”, increasing in volume in moisture gain and decreasing in moisture loss. When this volume increases or decreases in a uniformed matter all around the home, problems may not develop.… Read the rest
Just another example of why you should get a home inspection prior to spending your hard earned money on your dream home. As you can see by the picture, a shoddy repair job would have given a few clues something wasn’t right. As a buyer of a house, what would you have done next?
Part of my passion as a Dallas and Fort Worth area home inspector is to get to the bottom of little things that others wouldn’t think to observe. My first move was to look at different areas located around this particular area, ie, laundry room, bathroom, etc.… Read the rest
It’s time for the Fall season, which means the annual chores need to be done. Many of us put these chores off as long as possible. From raking, to cleaning the house, to splitting firewood, to getting ready for the holidays, these tasks need to get done. Many of these fall chores are physically exhausting. But, depending on your health, they can also be a great form of exercise and calorie burners.
Here are some healthy reasons why fall chores can help you get some exercise.
Raking Leaves – on average burns 280 calories per hour.
Whether you have to rake leaves or grass clippings from your lawn, this chore is exactly that – a chore.… Read the rest
MOST HOMEOWNERS DON’T REALLY UNDERSTAND HOW IMPORTANT THE INSULATION IS NEEDED TO GIVE YOU COMFORT AND REDUCE THOSE ENERGY BILLS IN YOUR HOME. BELOW IS SOME SIMPLE INFO ON INSULATION.
HOW INSULATION WORKS
You need insulation in your home to provide resistance to heat flow. The more heat flow resistance your insulation provides, the lower your heating and cooling costs.
Heat flows naturally from a warmer to a cooler space. In the winter, this heat flow moves directly from all heated living spaces to adjacent unheated garages, basements, and even to the outdoors. Heat flow can also move indirectly through interior floors, walls and ceilings wherever there is a difference in temperature.… Read the rest