I came across Comprehensive Duct Sealing and Weatherization several years ago at an Austin Energy meeting. For years Austin Energy has recommended this process. I have taken several classes over the last two years and have found that this process does make a tremendous difference when trying to keep the energy used on a home more consistent.
What is Comprehensive Duct Sealing?
Comprehensive Duct Sealing tests the whole house envelope and duct system for any air leakage. This process looks for duct work that was incorrectly connected or where duct joints started to leak over time. The supply registers and return registers are also sealed to keep any air infiltration out.
Why is Comprehensive Duct Sealing so important?
As your home ages the mastic (a rubberized material used to seal duct work) begins to crack allowing leaks for cool or warm air from the HVAC unit to blow into the attic space instead of going to the interior of the home. This is air flow that you are paying for going to cool or warm areas of the home that are not needed. Most homes have a duct leakage of 30% or more. Our goal with comprehensive duct sealing is to allow less than 10%. If your home is older than 5 years you should strongly consider having done.
How much does Comprehensive Duct Sealing Cost?
The price is based off of the sq ft of your home and the number of HVAC units you have. Many energy providers offer rebates or credits to have this performed. We have found that the payback period of comprehensive duct sealing is less than 3 years and most cases is 1 year or less after the rebates or credits. For example: Austin Energy offers a rebate of $0.12/sq ft and Texas Gas customers can receive an additional $0.08/sq ft. If your home is 2500 sq ft with one HVAC unit the cost for duct sealing is $699.00 (an additional $135.00 for second HVAC unit). Austin Energy’s rebate is $300.00 and Texas Gas is $200.00 leaving an investment of $199.00. CPS Energy customers in San Antonio receive $100.00 for each HVAC unit.
How much money can I expect to save with Comprehensive Duct Sealing?
In our experience this summer customers have been getting between $20-45/month savings from their electric bills. Keep in mind that this is always determined by the condition of the duct work prior to our work and how each person uses their particular HVAC system. These energy savings don’t just occur during the summer according to Austin Energy these savings continue in the winter time with the same effect.
During this process we install any additional weather stripping on exterior doors or furnace closets to ensure that no unnecessary air flow through the building envelop.
If anyone has had experience with Comprehensive Duct Sealing I would like to hear your feedback.