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How Can I Test My Air Ducts for Leaks?

March 10, 2022 | Blog

Your home’s central AC can only run efficiently if all its parts are in working order. Damaged ducts impact your utility costs and can force you to invest in avoidable AC repairs.

Taking care of your AC unit includes paying attention to the signs of air duct leaks. Follow this guide from Big Mountain Heating & Air Conditioning to understand how to test your air ducts for leaks.

Understanding Your Ducts

Central air conditioning systems use ductwork to deliver cooled air around your home. Air ducts should be professionally installed with adequate supports.

Over time, your air ducts may wear out and become less effective. Tears and holes can lead to energy loss and uneven temperatures in your home. Learn about the signs and solutions for ductwork that is damaged in the next section.

Damaged Ducts

Loose ductwork, leaks and tears can cause air to leave the system and make your unit less efficient. This damage to your ductwork results in higher energy bills and wasted money. Also, leaking AC ducts make your unit work harder to cool your house.

  • Signs of an AC Duct Leak
  • Rooms feel uncomfortable
  • High HVAC bills
  • More frequent AC unit repairs
  • Rooms are difficult to heat or cool
  • Your home is dustier than usual

Why Your AC Isn’t Working

Ductwork is one of the leading causes of inefficient AC systems. If you’ve noticed any of the signs mentioned above, your ductwork could be to blame.

Hotspots or rooms that feel stuffy may not be receiving conditioned air from your AC. It could be that your ducts leading to that space are damaged, sagging or kinked.

If you notice your home looks or feels dustier than usual, your ducts may be compromised. Dust can enter your system through leaky ducts and build up on surfaces throughout your home.

Higher energy bills and frequent AC repairs can signal a ductwork problem. Your system and energy use may not be the culprit – you may be losing energy as air leaks from damaged ducts.

How to Inspect Your System for Leaks

  • Use incense or a thin piece of toilet tissue to test for air movement between duct joints.
  • Open a window 1-2 inches and turn on your AC. Feel for air moving in from outside.
  • Visibly inspect your ducts for tears, holes and kinks.

Sealing and Cleaning

Always hire an HVAC professional to repair damaged ductwork. Not only will your home feel more comfortable, but your indoor air quality can also improve.

With repaired and clean air ducts, your system will no longer recirculate polluted air through your space. Repairing your ductwork can have a positive impact on your health and your utility bills.

Big Mountain Air Duct Repair

If you notice any of the signs of damaged air ducts in your home, trust a professional for repairs. From patching a tear to redesigning ductwork plans, Big Mountain Heating & Air Conditioning can do it all. Contact us today!

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What Our Customers Have To Say

Good Rebates

This is a review for a complete HVAC system replacement from Big Mountain. I started at the SMUD website looking for the best rebate program and found a list of contractors there. I vetted out companies that had a lower number of completed jobs per the SMUD rebate program data.

Lee S.

Very Professional

Had my A/C go out yesterday, called Big Mountain today and they had a serviceman in my area of Lincoln, he was here within a half hour and fix my unit in a very professional manner, and the cost was reasonable. I was very impressed with the company and the serviceman.

Tom D.


I had a appointment with them between 1-3 and one of their staff members called me and kept me updated when they will arrive which was nice. Steve arrived on time and was really nice for explaining what could the cause be. My ac fan was working but cool air wasn’t coming out.

Krystal L.