Common Problems with Heating and Cooling Ducts

Seal Your Heating and Cooling Ducts

Ducts are used to distribute conditioned air throughout houses with forced-air heating and cooling systems. In typical houses, about 20 percent of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts. The result is an inefficient HVAC system, high utility bills, and difficulty keeping the house comfortable, no matter how the thermostat is set.

Common Duct Problems

  • A Leaky, torn, and disconnected ducts
  • B Poorly sealed registers and grills
  • C Leaks at furnace and filter slot
  • D Kinks in flexible ductwork restricting airflow

Common Duct Problems

Simple Steps to Improving Duct Performance

Because ducts are often concealed in walls, ceilings, attics, and basements,
repairing them can be difficult. But there are things that you can do to improve duct performance in your house.

Start by sealing leaks using mastic sealant or metal (foil) tape and insulating all the ducts that you can access such as those in the attic, crawl space, basement, or garage. Never use ‘duct tape,’ as it is not long-lasting.

Also make sure that the connections at vents and registers are well-sealed where they meet the floors, walls, and ceiling. These are common locations to find leaks and disconnected ductwork.

Working with a Contractor

Many homeowners choose to hire a professional contractor for duct improvement projects. Most heating and cooling contractors also repair ductwork. Look for a contractor who will:

  • Inspect the whole duct system, including the attic, basement, and crawl space (if you have these).
  • Repair or replace damaged, disconnected, or undersized ducts and straighten out flexible ducts that are tangled or crushed.
  • Evaluate the system’s supply and return air balance. Many systems have air return ducts that are too small.
  • Seal leaks and connections with mastic, metal tape, or an aerosol-based sealant.
  • Seal gaps behind registers and grills where the duct meets the floor, wall, or ceiling.
  • Insulate ducts in unconditioned areas with insulation that carries an R-value of 6 or higher.
  • Include a new filter as part of any duct system improvement.
  • Use diagnostic tools to evaluate air flow after repairs are completed.
  • Ensure there is no back drafting of gas or oil-burning appliances, and conduct a combustion safety test after ducts are sealed.

Why isn’t the air conditioner cooling the house?

If a room is not getting cooled or heated like the other rooms, it’s very likely there are some simple checks to do before calling your service company. Here are some checks:

  • Check the air filters – both at the intake and return if any. They may be dirty or blocked.
  • Check the air registers to the room(s). Are they open, blocked/covered? If they are not, are the windows/doors sealed around the frame? You may have a room that is not well insulated.
  • If there is less air flow through the register, it’s likely the air duct to the room is long, has some restrictions, or a damper may be partially closed. Check the ductwork if it’s in the basement or attic. Open the damper if there’s one.

Simple steps like sealing window and door gaps, drawing the curtains when it’s the height of summer, and closing registers in un-used rooms can only help your A/C and reduce energy bills.

We can do a thorough inspection and energy audit of your home, so give us a call to save on your energy bills this season.

Why isn’t the air conditioner cooling?

The thermostat setting is way down, but the room temperature still feels warm. There are usually two causes for this:

1. All thermostats are not equal. Do you have one of the dial types? They are the older mechanical type thermostats that must be calibrated at least once every two years or so. You are better off buying a new digital thermostat that will pay for itself in one summer.

Mechanical or digital – it’s also likely that the thermostat could have been placed in the wrong location – near a heat source, sunlight, or an un insulated wall. This is very common but a problem to fix. Repositioning the thermostat will require some knowledge of electrical wiring and fishing wire through a drywall can be a challenge.

Your best bet will be to protect the thermostat from obvious heat/cold source, and if that fails, then you will need to call in your expert service company to reposition and rewire the thermostat.

This will save you money on your energy bills in the long run.

2. The more serious problem is that your condenser coils are freezing up – this can happen during the cooling season. Try turning off the system for an hour or two (don’t worry, the unit was not cooling anyway!). Turn the system back on and see if there’s cool air coming from the vents. If not, the problems could be a leak in the system, lack of refrigerant, or dirt in the system that’s blocking the condenser unit. This does require a professional, so give us a call today.

Why is my energy bill so high?

Older units are not energy efficient, but higher than average bills indicate problems. The most obvious checks are your home insulation and weather, with humidity being the main problem. If these are not the case, then your A/C’s refrigerant could be low, or there’s a slow leak in the system.

Often dirt can lodge in the expansion valve of the condenser, and interfere with the proper working of the cycle; this causes icing up of the coils and puts a strain on the system – consuming unnecessary power.

Dirty filers and ducts can also affect the performance of the whole system and cause the compressor to work overtime.

Other simple things to keep your system performing well:

  • Clear the outdoor unit of debris, shrubs, weeds etc. Keep unrestricted airflow around the unit
  • Check for damage to the evaporator – avoid bumping into it with your lawn mower.
  • Watch the weed whacker around the coils and cables. Broken insulation can cause shorts and can interfere with the efficient operation of the temperature control.

Your best bet is to call for service. The tune up cost will be recovered very quickly at today’s energy rates. If your system is old, it may be time to investigate an energy efficient A/C unit.

Call us for an energy audit of your home and a free estimate, we can help you save on your energy bills this season.

10 Tips to Reduce Your Heating Bill

10 Tips to Reduce Your Heating Bill

The winter months are here, and the economy, and soaring energy costs have us avidly searching for ways to stretch our cash. Here are a few low cost, and very simple tips for reducing your electricity bill this winter, and keep that money in your pocket.

1. Turn off extra lights. This is probably the simplest way to conserve, and probably the most overlooked as well. Turn off lights, TV’s and radios when you leave the room, and teach your kids to do the same.

2. Lower your thermostat and bundle up. By lowering your thermostat by just one degree, you can reduce your energy use by at least 3%. Make a point of wearing socks or slippers around this house because if your feet are cold, your whole body will also feel cold. So rather than turning up your heat, grab a sweater or a blanket and bundle up.

3. Make use of natural light. In addition to being refreshing, the rays of the sun help to heat the house. So during the day pull back those drapes and let the sun shine in! But, remember to pull them back at night to keep the heat from escaping out of the windows.

4. Turn down your water heater. By lowering your water heater’s temperature from 140 to 120 degrees, you can really cut costs, and hardly notice a difference. Make sure to fix any leaky faucets.

5. 6 hours is just enough, to have your holiday lights aglow. Turn them on at sunset, and turn them off before turning in for the night.

6. Make use of what is already there. You can tap into heat generation in simple things you do everyday. Leave the oven door open after cooking, and leave the bathroom door open, and the vent system off when you shower and let the steam heat the area.

7. Close off rooms that aren’t in use. It is cheaper to heat a small area than a large one. Reserve your heat for the area where you spend most of your time. Close vents in unused rooms.

8. Don’t let your heat escape. Keep the doors and the windows shut tight when you have your heater running. Make sure your fireplace flue is closed when not in use to minimize the loss of heat.

9. Check those filters! Clean and clear filters are a must for a heating systems – dirty filters can make your heating costs increase.

10. Hire a Professional. At least once a year you should have your heating system inspected by a professional. Proper routine maintenance keeps your heating unit efficient and can save you money.

How to save on home energy costs

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In today’s economy everyone is looking for ways to save money on utility bills, All Quality Heating and Air is offering a highly efficient, inexpensive and practical solution that will help you reduce your energy costs as well reducing your health risks by limiting the amount of allergenic particles coming from your attic. This is one of the single most cost effective investments you can make!

Reduce your energy bills 20%, and dramatically reduce the amount of air transferred from inside and outside of your house, reducing attic particles and dust. These particles can cause allergies and increase your health risks. By sealing air leaks, insulating the attic thoroughly, and using our “Attic Door Insulator” for air leaks around your attic steps and our “House Fan Insulator” for sealing the leaks of hot and cold air and dust coming from your attic through the whole house fan in your ceiling!

You should notice an immediate reduction in “radiated” heat from your wooden attic door during the summer time from the hot attic or a reduction in cold air “downdrafts” flowing from your attic door or from around your whole house fan in the winter. This will make it much more comfortable for you and easier to heat and cool your home, especially in homes with upstairs attic doors or whole house fans. We can install an attic door insulator for you in about 30 minutes!

Call us now, at 770-399-7838 for more information and to schedule an appointment to have your Attic Door Insulator installed by our Certified Energy Star Partner technicians. We have SPECIAL PRICING on this product February 16-April 1 only. All we need to know is the size of your attic door/opening or whole house fan.

You can’t afford to NOT have an attic door Insulator. The Attic Door Insulator should pay for itself ine 1-3 years! Don’t wait until it gets too hot, CALL US NOW!

Going Green Specials


Call us for special pricing. These won’t last long.


We also occasionally change out perfectly good air conditioning units, which are currently working for upgraded models for many customers. If you are interested in a used unit, please let us know. Many of the used units still have some remaining factory warranty on them, and some even have extended warranties still in effect and others do not. We will warranty the installation for 90 days, but not on air conditioning equipment itself that no longer carries a factory warranty on it. As a rule of thumb, air conditioning equipment that is properly maintained may last 10-15 years or longer, depending on the quality of the unit, the model and manufacturer.

It is important to note however, that air conditioning equipment which is older than 10 years old, will become energy inefficient. Although it may be working and functioning properly, it will cost you significantly more to operate fully functional outdated equipment than if you purchased a newer model.

What is a carbon footprint?

What is a carbon footprint?

January 19th, 2010

A carbon footprint is the total of all greenhouse gas emissions caused directly and indirectly by an individual, organization, event or product. Some greenhouse gases occur naturally, others are caused by human activity. The two major greenhouse gases are water vapor and carbon dioxide. Greenhouse gases trap the heat of the sun in the Earth’s atmosphere. Some believe that collectively humans are producing enough greenhouse gases to have an effect on the earth’s climate by causing global warming. Others believe that man’s activities do produce greenhouse gases, but in such relatively small quantities that we don’t affect the earth’s climate or cause global warming.

How big is your carbon footprint?

You can calculate your carbon footprint by adding up all of the greenhouse gas emissions emitted into the air from activities you do every day such as drive a car, heat or cool your home, heat or cool water or throw away trash that goes into a landfill. Depending on where you live, you may be buying electricity from a company that emits greenhouse gases because it generates electricity from burning fossil fuels—such as coal, oil and natural gas. Fossil fuels are non-renewable sources of energy.

Is it important to know your carbon footprint?

The main reason to know your carbon footprint is to be aware of how much your activity affects the earth’s atmosphere. As of now, there is no proof that human activity does or does not cause global warming. However, there are enough people that do believe humans cause global warming that they are asking our government to find alternative fuels and to tax individuals and companies based on the amount of greenhouse gas emissions we produce each year. This carbon tax will be used to help the government pay for developing renewable fuels that will offset these carbon footprints and therefore stop or reverse global warming.

Voluntarily reducing your carbon footprint.

There are people who want to voluntarily do what they can to reduce their emissions as well as do activities that will offset their emissions. There are many things we can do on a voluntary basis that will reduce our emissions. Small changes at home can make big reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Using Energy Star products is one way. Contact us now to find out more about the Energy Star products we offer or other suggestions we have to reduce your energy costs.