Central HVAC systems rely heavily on duct efficiency. An airtight duct is going to enable air to travel more freely throughout your house. The quicker the air gets to your air registers, the easier it will be to heat and cool your spaces. Obviously, if the ducts are not airtight, much of the heated or cooled air will be lost and wasted.
Working on Your Ducting
The majority of your ducting is probably inside the walls where it cannot be easily accessed or serviced. That being said, there will be some ducts that are outside of the walls. For instance, some ducting might run through your basement or attic. These sections are also the most important to service because they are in rooms where the temperatures are more extreme. This is also true with any ducting that is connected directly to the air handler.
Dealing with Extreme Temperatures
Since your air handler is probably inside the garage or basement, the temperature in these rooms can have a greater effect on the ducting. Most often, a garage won't have any sort of temperature control so it is hotter during the summer and colder during the winter. For example, on a hot day, when your air conditioning is pumping, extra heat in these rooms can increase the temperature of the duct walls, which in turn increases the temperature of the actual air flowing through them. Your goal should always be to make sure that your ducting, any of it that you can see and service, is air tight and insulated.
While your system is turned on, you can walk around and check the ducting, especially near the seams. If you notice air flowing out of the seams, quickly wrap them in duct tape. In fact, it might be useful to wrap all of your ducts seams in tape to prevent them from moving around and creating future leaking.
Some people even go a step further and invest in ducting insulation. Foam or fiberglass insulation can be wrapped around the outside of a duct to reduce heat loss. Duct insulation is sold in long lengths and is designed to fit perfectly over most ducting gauges used in residential properties.
The ducting system is one of the easiest part of your HVAC to service, so it is one of the most achievable ways to improve efficiency without needing to have extensive HVAC experience or training. Contact a company, like All Weather Shield Inc, for more help.