Are you looking for tips on how to repair AC ducts in attic?
If yes, we are here for you; we understand that AC ducts can be challenging to repair. It is even more challenging if it is in difficult-to-access spaces such as the attic.
This is just where the ductworks pass. And over time, it is inevitable that you will have to repair cracks, holes and missing or damaged insulation.
Contact us 24/7 for HVAC services!
The thing with these damages is that you may not know as soon as they happen. You will just realize that the performance of your system is deteriorating.
If you notice any discrepancy, one of your top suspects should be issues with the duct systems, some of which you can repair and some of which are best left for professionals.
Read on to understand what to do when you notice any issues with the AC ducts in the attic.
Signs you Need Air Duct Repair
As we have stated already, cracks and holes in your ductwork are not something you may realize immediately after they happen.
You will have to be keen on the performance of your HVAC systems. With time, it will be apparent that there is an issue to solve.
Here are some signs that indicate you need to perform AC duct repair.
Visible Dust and Dirt Around Vents
When there is dust build-up in the areas around the vents, you need to get a duct checkup.
When there is dust on the vents, it means that the dust is in contact with the HVAC machinery. Yes, this dust should be trapped in filters and not get in contact with the machinery.
Dust build-up in the system is a sign that filtration is not happening correctly. And this is a sure sign of damage to the components of your air conditioner.
How do you know there is quicker dust build-up than usual?
Clean the dust from the air vents and wait two days. If there is build-up after just two days, then it is clear that there is an issue that you need to solve. Whether it is residential or commercial AC repair, we would be glad to solve the issue for you.
Sudden Increase in Energy Bills
If there is a sudden and unexplained surge in energy bills in your house, you need to get worried. Increased energy bills are a sure sign that the HVAC system is working harder than it should.
There are many reasons your heating and cooling bills are increasing. One of the main culprits is usually tears on the duct network. You can check this up and see if you can spot any and try to seal them.
However, you should know that not all tears on the ductwork are visible. Even if you do not spot them, they may still be there. This is where professionals come in for professional duct sealing.
You have every reason to worry if you hear any weird sounds such as heavy metal crashing or bending in the sheet metal ducts.
Usually, the noise is unsettling and unmistakable. They are usually so loud and scary, keeping you up all night, especially if it comes from the attic. These happen when the connections break, and holes develop.
When this happens, turn on the system but leave off the indoor air handler. If there is no noise from the outdoor unit, you need to call a professional duct repair.
Need for Frequent Filter Changes
Air filters for HVAC systems should last up to three months. If they stay longer, the result is usually lowered indoor air quality and even clogging some components in the cooling system.
Sometimes, you may change them religiously but still get constant blockages. If this happens to you, there is likely an issue with your duct system. This happens typically because excess dust is getting into the ductwork.
If nothing is done, it will gradually get worse.
Excess Debris in HVAC Components
Opening a few panels on your attic air conditioner will let you see the dust situation in your ductwork. If dust builds up even after frequent cleaning, the ductwork could be an issue.
The dust issue in HVAC systems is serious because it gradually clogs the system. And they are a menace that finds its way into your indoor air. Also, dust is a home for mold spores.
With mold thriving in your attic duct, you will need to call a team of professionals to do the clearing up.
If you spot mold in any area of your house, there could be different reasons behind it. It could be due to water that finds its way through a leaky rooftop.
If the mold is visible around your HVAC system, the spores are likely thriving in different parts of your home.
To solve this, for starters, ensure your condensation has a clear exit route. Stagnant water is a happy place for molds; you want to eliminate that.
If you see any molds around your AC system, it is not over until you have a professional cleaning done. The professional cleaning would also help prevent future recurrence.
Do not struggle to clear up the mold in your attic’s ducts alone; we are here to hold your hand through it with our AC repair Santa Clarita service.
Uneven Cooling or Heating
If some areas in your house do not cool while others are cooling down, it could indicate that you have a duct leak.
Look out for lack of airflow in specific rooms as it is often a clear indication of air duct problems.
Repair AC Ducts in Attic: DIY or Call for a Professional
Repairing AC duct systems can vary from straightforward air duct cleaning tasks to complicated ones that certified HVAC contractors should strictly handle.
Homeowners often fail to distinguish which jobs they can do and which ones they should leave for professionals.
For minor repairs such as replacing a short piece of flexible ducting, you can handle them yourself if you are a DIY person. However, ensure you are using suitable materials in fixing your ductwork. Besides, ensure you have personal protective equipment (PPE) while fixing your duct system in the attic.
However, it would be ideal if you let a professional technician do more extensive issues such as missing or damaged insulation. If your duct system is facing extensive damage, it is wise to let a professional handle it, and here is why.
A certified HVAC system technician will ensure your system is set in a way that delivers optimal airflow. Also, if you work with a professional, they will ensure that your duct system is set up for high energy efficiency.
Remember that a poorly configured duct network affects airflow in the house and may result in excessive noise while in operation. Also, if the duct is poorly sized, there will be a lot of issues.
More Energy Efficiency
A malfunctioning duct system can result in air loss of conditioned air. This situation is even worse if the network is not adequately insulated. If you have duct leakage, it can account for up to 30% of your energy bills(1).
The thing is, it is not usually straightforward to detect duct holes. On rare occasions, you can spot them. However, sometimes, they are minute, making it difficult for you to spot them.
This is why sealing leaks is better left for professionals to do. A simple “home air conditioning repair near me” search could land you great service.
A professionally repaired duct work has a chance of lasting longer than DIY maintained one; they have years of training and experience doing it, after all.
With a professional, you can avoid mistakes that people make in repairing and maintaining their ductwork. For instance, many non-professionals opt for a cloth-backed tape to seal holes instead of duct mastic or duct tape.
A professional’s artistry and skill are sure to enjoy better longevity. Repairing them yourself is not an issue. The issue comes in if you are unsure what you are doing. This is a sure way to keep repeating the same process.
Complex Repairs or Replacements
Why would you face the complex repairs, worse of all, in the attic when you can have a professional do it?
Well, we understand that people want to save on labor costs, but sometimes it is not just worth it.
If the work likely involves cutting through the attic floor, ceiling or walls, you are better off calling a technician. If you do it yourself, you will most likely destroy the configuration of your duct system.
Search for “best HVAC service near me” for complex repairs.
How to Repair Torn Insulation on Air Ducts
Follow these steps to repair damaged or missing insulation in your attic ducts:
- Locate the torn insulation: Go through the insulation to ensure the duct system is not damaged. Remember that the duct is a plastic or metal flex pipe. However, it may also be a flex board. If you find any duct system damage, you must repair it first.
- Cover the damage: Cut a piece of duct tape large enough to fully cover the damage. The tape should be large enough to extend about 3/4 an inch beyond the damage or tear. Ensure you coat the repaired part with duct mastic and a stiff paintbrush. Allow the mastic time to dry.
- Use new fiberglass to insulate into the hole of the outer foil insulation. Ensure the insulation covers the inner repaired part and is of the same thickness as the original. When you finish, ensure there are no thin areas.
- Fix the foil outer insulation to cover the hole nicely. If some foil is missing, use foil tape to cover the defect. Cut pieces from the foil insulation tape to seal even the outer foil insulation; ensure it extends at least 3/4 inch above the existing foil insulation.
- For finishing, cover the insulation with duct mastic.
How to Repair AC Ducts in Attic: Sealing Cracks, Holes and Gaps
If you note signs of duct leaks in your system, you could try this DIY procedure to seal them:
- Locate the area of duct leak by inspecting the system while the AC is running.
- Use zip ties to secure loose air ducts to the attic floor,
- Smear a generous amount of duct mastic over the points of leakages,
- Ensure the duct is secured in place and wait for it to fully dry,
- The leak should be eliminated once the sealant mastic is fully dry.
Note: mastic only works well with leaks that are 1/4 inch or less. If it is larger than 1/4, you must apply a web-type drywall tape to serve as a foundation. You can then apply the mastic over the drywall tape.
Many people think that duct tape is a good choice for sealing thermal leaks in the duct system. However, sealant mastic is always a better choice.
If you use duct tape, ensure you use a foil designed to withstand the heat. This feature will ensure the tape stays on even after exposure to the hot air that will pass over it.
How to Repair AC Ducts in Attic Frequently Asked Questions
We answer some FAQs on AC duct repair. The AC repair services should help ensure your house’s air conditioning is fully functioning.
How do you fix attic ducts?
Two main issues affect ductworks. The first is the leaks, cracks or holes.
The second is the lack of or reduced insulation.
If you have duct holes, the solution would be to apply a sealant mask. The process of applying will depend on how large the holes are.
The second way is to insulate the torn parts using duct tape.
How much does it cost to rewrap ductwork?
The national average for ductwork repair is $600. However, the service may go up to $6000 depending on the extent of damage or the air ducts’ length.
How do you repair a collapsed air duct?
Heavy objects impact one reason duct works collapse. Typically, people store heavy objects in areas where the ducts pass, such as in the attic.
If you have a collapsed or crushed duct, call for professional repairs. However, if you want to try it, you can seal each side of the ductwork with duct tape. Then you can strengthen it with mesh before sealing it with duct mastic.
How do I know I have bad ductwork?
There are several signs to keep an eye on. These include:
- excessive dust,
- increased energy costs,
- collapsed or broken air ducts,
- uneven cooling and heating,
- apparent gaps in the system,
- weird noises.
Closing words on How to Repair AC Ducts in Attic
Big up for coming this far; we are calling it a wrap. At this point, we are assured that you can know when your ductwork likely has an issue. You may have an issue spot where precisely the issue is(because ductworks are long), but if you do, and it is something you can fix, give it a try.
If you are unsure where the holes, cracks, or gaps are, feel free to contact us. We will spot the holes and seal them for you. Feel free too to contact us for duct insulation services, window AC repair and general HVAC services.
Contact us 24/7 for HVAC services!