Leaks in your home's ventilation system lead to excess dust, which can block the air flow and create breathing problems. The leaks can also cause your furnace to run inefficiently. The harder your furnace works to make up for these deficits, the more likely you will have to hire an HVAC contractor for furnace repair. To prevent this chain of events, you can seal the leaks in your ventilation system.
What You Will Need to Seal the Leaks
This project is simple enough for any homeowner to do. To get started, you will need:
- A caulk gun
- Heat-resistant ventilation sealing caulk
- A paint knife
- A step ladder
- A caulk gun tube extension
The step ladder is optional, but it will help you reach the joints in the ventilation system that you cannot see while you are standing on your basement floor. The caulk gun tube extension is also optional, but it is extremely helpful for reaching into tight areas where the gun itself will not fit.
Sealing the Leaks
Instead of trying to hunt down all the leaks in your home's ventilation system, it is just easier to assume that all the seams in the ventilation system produce leaks. By approaching your project from this angle, you not only seal the leaks that exist, but you can also seal off areas before they become leaks.
- First, apply the caulk around both sides of every seam in your ventilation system.
- Next, check the top of every seam and apply caulk to these areas too. Here is where the gun extension really comes in handy, because the caulk gun is too bulky to get between the basement ceiling and the top of the vents
- Apply the caulk to the surrounding edges of any vents that circulate air in your basement. If you can, close these vents and seal them completely to conserve heat and energy.
- Finally, use the paint knife to push the caulk into the ventilation system's seams. You should not feel any air coming through the seams when the furnace kicks on.
If your basement is finished and furnished, it is okay to keep basement vents open. You should still use the caulk to seal the edges around the basement vents so that the air flow comes only through the vents. If you can see them and reach them, seal the areas around any part of your ventilation system that vents to the outside.