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Dulley's Money-Saving Tip #1049

Look for leaks in furnace duct system

(related column topic links - 763, 486, 698)

Recent tests have indicated that most hot air duct systems in homes are very leaky at the joints. Just take a look at them and you will see how poorly designed they are. A substantial percentage of the heated air from your furnace or heat pump never gets to the rooms where it is intended to go. This results in uneven room temperatures and excessively high heating bills.

This is even a worse problem in the summer when air-conditioning. Since many furnaces and heat pumps are upflow designs (located in a basement), it is difficult to get the dense cooled air up to the second floor rooms anyway. The last thing you need is leaky duct joints.

It is very easy to seal the joints. Just wrap inexpensive silver duct tape around all the duct joints that you have access to. Also, check where the humidifier mounts on the main duct. You may find air leaks there too that need to be sealed with tape.