Return air ducts are a vital part of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. They bring indoor air back to the furnace or air conditioner to be cooled or heated again, filtered and redistributed. This process balances the airflow in an HVAC system, allowing it to function properly.
If the return air ducts in your HVAC system aren’t sealed properly, it can cause numerous issues. Learn why and how you should seal return air ducts to ensure comfort and safety while saving money on energy bills.
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Should Return Air Ducts Be Sealed?
Return air ducts should be sealed to prevent air leakage. When return air ducts are properly sealed, you can:
HVAC systems that leak air can add hundreds of dollars to your heating and cooling bills each year. Sealing return ducts is an effective way to make your systems more efficient and save money on your energy expenses.
Maintain Comfortable Interior Temperatures
Leaking HVAC systems can make rooms too hot or too cold. By sealing return air ducts, you can keep interior spaces at more comfortable temperatures.
Improve Air Quality
Pollutants like dust and dirt can easily enter an HVAC system through unsealed return air ducts. These pollutants can clog up your system and circulate through your building, causing allergies and other health issues for occupants.
Proper return air duct sealing is one of the most effective ways to keep pollutants out. It can help create a healthier interior environment and save you money on air duct cleaning.
Prevent Back Drafting
When you use gas appliances, they release combustion gases like carbon monoxide through their ventilating system. Back drafting occurs when these gases get pulled back into the building rather than expelled outside due to leaks in the HVAC ductwork. Sealing the return air ducts can reduce the risk of back drafting.
Symptoms of Inadequate Return Air
If you notice any of the following symptoms, it may be time to seal your return air ducts:
- Uneven room temperatures
- Pressure imbalances
- High energy bills
- Weak airflow from vents
- Worsened allergy symptoms
- Warm air coming from the air conditioning unit
How to Seal Return Air Ducts
There are a few different materials you can use to seal return air ducts:
- Heat-approved tape: Use a heat-approved tape that is Underwriters Laboratories (UL)-labeled.
- Mastic: Mastic is a specialized, rubbery sealant made of resin that is often used on ductwork.
- Polyurethane foam: Spray polyurethane foam is a convenient, effective sealant for return air ducts.
Contact Hennemuth Metal Fabricators for Custom Ductwork
Hennemuth Metal Fabricators specializes in fabricating and distributing HVAC ductwork to residential and commercial contractors in Pittsburgh and the surrounding tri-state area. We fabricate ductwork in standard sizes and to your custom specifications to meet all your needs. With our advanced equipment and industry expertise, we have the tools to create high-quality, effective ductwork for your business.
Get in touch with us today to get more information about our services and benefit from our expert guidance.