Department of Energy Findings - Efficiency of Your Duct System

Comfort Institute trainers and researchers find that up to half of a heating or cooling unit’s performance depends on the duct system it is connected to.  Unfortunately many if not most duct systems have major deficiencies. Research groups around the country have discovered the same problems.

The following statements were made in a 1999 Department Of Energy Research report entitled "Improving The Efficiency Of Your Duct System".


Energy Losses and Comfort


"Typical duct systems lose 25 to 40 percent of the heating or cooling energy put out by the central furnace, heat pump, or air conditioner."


"Homes with ducts in a protected area such as a basement may lose somewhat less than this while some other types of systems (such as attic ducts in hot, humid climates) often lose more."

 "Duct repairs could be the most important energy improvement measure you can do..."


Health Hazards


"Leakage in the duct system can be hazardous to your health.  Especially problematic are leaky returns in an enclosed space or garage that also contains the furnace."


Get A Professional!


"You should not attempt to repair duct leaks.  Safe duct repair requires a licensed heating, ventilating and air conditioning contractor... one that has sent their technicians to a good duct repair school.  One of the special tools that would be used by a technician is a blower door."  


The full report is available by calling 1-800-363-3732 and asking for publication DOE/EE0109


For more information on the blower door and other recommended diagnostic tests, visit our Whole House Comfort Checkup page.