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Air Conditioning Installation: How Do You Get Your Old Home's Air Ducts Ready?

If you're having a new air conditioning system installed in your old home, you may wonder if you need to do anything to prepare for it. If you currently have a forced air heating system in the house, you can check the air ducts in your attic to see if they're sound enough to support the additional cooling system. Leaky air ducts can cause many problems with your new system, including higher energy expenses and loss. Here's how you check the duct system in your attic for problems.

Inspect the Air Ducts

If your air ducts are made of fiberglass or another soft material, you want to look for tears and holes along the ducts. For metal air ducts, check the surfaces of the ducts for dents, rust and holes. Once you find problems, use a colorful highlighter to mark the areas you need to repair later. Now, if there are severe problems, such as missing insulation or ripped material, it's probably a good idea that you allow an air conditioner contractor inspect, repair or replace the ducts. The damages may be too extensive to support your heating and cooling systems.

If the damages are small, such as a few tears or dents, you can move onto the next step of the inspection. You need to examine the areas of the duct system that connect directly to the air vents in the attic flooring. The connections can come loose, which allows air to seep out of the ducts and into the attic. If the connections are loose, you can reposition them later. 

Now, you're ready to work on your air ducts.

Repair the Air Ducts

You'll need to purchase a thick roll of mastic tape for fiberglass air ducts or metal tape for metal air ducts. Before you repair the ducts, use a towel to wipe away dust and dirt. Allow the material to dry thoroughly. Unroll your tape, then carefully wrap it around the tears and other problems you found earlier. You may need to use several layers to secure the ducts. 

Next, move to the vents and reposition the ducts over them. You may need someone to hold the ducts in place as you apply tape around their bases. You want to create a tight seal over the areas that connect the ducts to the vents to prevent air leaks in the future. After you complete all of the steps above, you're ready for your new AC installation.

If you would like to learn more about checking and sealing your air ducts, contact an air conditioning specialist like Borter Heating & Air Conditioning Co