If your ducted gas heating system isn't working as efficiently as you like, you may be able to boost its efficiency by addressing the ducts. There are several things you can do. Take a look at these ideas:
1. Patch holes in accessible ducts.
If the ductwork is in your attic, crawlspace or somewhere else you can access, you should get into that area and start looking for holes in the ductwork. If your gas heater is blowing hot air through ducts, you want it to travel straight to the rooms where you need it. You don't want holes in the ducts to let the air escape into the walls or other areas that don't need to be heated.
If you see holes, cover them with metal tape. If the holes are too large for taping to work, contact a professional for repair advice. Also, look at the spots where the ducts connect to your vents. If these connections aren't well sealed, you can tighten them up with a silicone caulk.
2. Insulate your ductwork.
If your ducts aren't insulated, they can lose heat. That means a lot of extra heat escaping into wall cavities, attics or crawlspaces unnecessarily. To prevent this from happening, add insulation around your ductwork. Use a radiant barrier insulation designed for use with ductwork. Don't just use batting or fiberglass insulation, as it may get too hot from the gas heating ducts.
3. Hire a professional to seal your ducts with spray.
Ducts in the walls can be hard to reach for repairs, but luckily, there is another solution -- aeroseal duct spray. Using this type of spray, a professional can ensure that your ducts are not leaking. In some cases, you may be able to find professional-grade sprays that you can use on your own without a lot of experience.
4. Make sure flexible ducts aren't tangled.
If you have flexible or high-velocity ducts in your home, you may occasionally want to make sure the are not oddly bent or twisted. These ducts tend to be used in older homes that have been retrofitted with ductwork or in places with relatively thin walls. A duct repair person can make sure they are straight, and if not, they can straighten them for you. Removing kinks allows air to travel more easily through these ducts.
5. Consider boxing in air return vents.
In addition to checking ducts for efficiency, you also want to check vents and air returns. In some cases, air returns allow in too much air, reducing the efficiency of your entire heating system. Luckily, in these cases, a professional can help by boxing in the return vent. That minimises the amount of warm air lost into the walls.
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