When I conduct insulation inspections in attics, I normally come out with sweat on my forehead and sometimes, depending on the inspection and time of year, I am completely drenched. This is normal and we all sweat to keep our bodies cool. When our home sweats, that’s normally an indication of a problem. Receiving calls from concerned homeowners about sweating vents and equipment is common at ECES. There can be many factors which cause condensation in the home; ultimately it is the dew point in the home and our attics. Dew point defines the point at which air will become saturated and condense. Simply, the air can’t hold any more moisture and creates dew. So why do I have moisture on my vents? Ductwork is a system or network of ducts which bring cool air to the different rooms and living areas of our homes. When heating and cooling companies install the air ducts in a home, the contractors are working with many separate pieces. While the workers strive to connect each piece as tightly and securely as possible, leaks and gaps in the ducts might still occur. This can happen in new and older homes. When these gaps and leaks occur the conditioned air leaks out into our attics. A typical home can experience close to 20% of conditioned air loss from leaking ducts. If the leaks are big enough, even more loss can occur costing you money and comfort. One common problem when ducts and vents are not sealed properly is condensation or sweating. These tiny drops build up around and on the vents causing issues, like mold. Another problem we come across is cracked seals and loose boots. Maybe you had a security system installed or needed cable ran into a room which wasn’t wired. Most of the time you need a technician to go in the attic and navigate in a hot, hard to walk around, dark area while performing these services. Ductwork tends to run in the same places these wires need to be run and sometimes ductwork is used as railing or support by the technician so they don’t end up putting their foot through the ceiling. Putting pressure on ductwork can cause loose boots around vents and cracked seams. These are less common, but do happen and unfortunately are unseen because they happen in the attic. More common is that over time, our seams, connectors, tape and vent boxes fail over time due to the harsh environment they are in. Failing tape is most common. The duct tape, which was used, becomes brittle and can no longer keep a tight seal. Good news is that repairing these leaks is a simple one. Foil tape, expandable foam and mastic (which are a type of paste applied to seams when foil tape can’t seal) is used to reseal these leaks keeping the conditioned air flowing for years to come. We tend to forget how important these systems really are and how important it is to maintain them. It is always a great idea to schedule an inspection and improve the efficiency of our largest investment, our homes.
Chris Balzer is Founder and President of Emerald Coast Energy Solutions which is a Smile Provider Company. We provide smiles to our customers after installing our high energy efficient products, increasing comfort and lowering energy bills. For more information on how to save this summer and become energy efficient schedule an inspection by calling (850) 588-2870, visit www.trusteces.com or email email@example.com and Beat the Heat.