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How to Repair Damaged Ductwork

Jun 16, 2012

That network of ducts that snakes through your house and delivers air from the furnace to all your rooms may be what keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer, but if your ductwork is damaged then you are wasting energy, which is only costing you money.

Damaged ductwork allows air to escape instead of delivering it to the intended area in your home. If you think your system is damaged or not working as efficiently as it should, contact a certified RESNET Home Energy Rater or Auditor who will inspect your house to identify areas that need repair or are leaking. Home ductwork, while strongly built, is easily damaged under certain conditions.

There are several ways ductwork can be damage:

  • Home maintenance: if you have workers in your house installing plumbing, cable TV, or just about any work that requires crawling into the attic or crawl space, damage can occur due to a misstep that can crush or damage ducts.
  • Home repairs: whenever you carry out home repairs that involve ripping out or installing floors, ceilings, walls, or fixtures, there is a possibility of damage. Quite often this happens near the vent area or in joints in the ductwork.
  • Rodents and animals: for some reason animals like to chew on duct work, especially the flexible plastic designed units. This will cause holes and tears.
  • Age and corrosion: if you live in an older home, your ductwork may show signs of age if it has never been replaced or repaired.

Repairing damaged ductwork can be a simple or more complicated task depending on the type and extent of the damaged area. For small openings or tears, simply cover over the hole with duct tape. This requires the use of certified duct tape made for this specific type of repair. If you use the tape commonly called ‘duct tape’ that is inexpensive and found at the local discount store, you will be disappointed with the results as this tape will dry out and become brittle.

If you have larger areas of damage including crushed areas, broken joints, or missing attachments, the best course of action is to replace the unit altogether. Trying to repair a crushed circular tube is almost impossible.

Call a RESNET Qualified EnergySmart Contractor who has the experience to replace or install ductwork and ensure it is sealed and properly insulated for maximum home energy efficiency. According to ENERGY STAR, properly sealed ductwork will increase home heating and cooling efficiency by up 20 per cent – and possibly more.

Insulated and properly maintained ducts and vents in your home will save you money on your heating and cooling costs, and will also ensure a high level of home comfort.