Study of flex ducting removed from a system after 10 years of use.
How much can duct sealing matter? I hear this question quite a lot when trying to explain to homeowners the benefits of duct testing and sealing. When most people consider their HVAC needs their mind somehow easily focuses on the equipment side of the equation. Furnaces and air handlers are efficient at one thing only, conditioning air and sending it downstream. Most of these systems have some sort of filtration system that helps to reduce the contamination of the air delivered. Adding electronic air cleaners and specialized filters can help a system to deliver air with less contaminates. While clean conditioned air principals are known to have a direct link to health , one should consider that the benefits of adding filters and cleaners only works when the system is sealed and in good condition. If a system has flex ducting you are more likely to have difficulty getting clean air within your home. Flex ducting is a easy and less expensive way to install air runs to a house but it is important to remember that flex ducting is known to have a lifespan to it. While manufacturers fail to put a timeline on their ductwork for lifespan, anyone who has spent time within a crawlspace has seen the effects of repeated heating and cooling on the plastic liners within a flex duct system. While the outside of the flex duct may appear in good standing order, there is only one way to tell of the interior liner has been compromised, removal and inspection.

Here is a photo of the interior of a flex duct that was recently removed from a system. The flex appeared to be in great condition on the exterior but our initial testing of the system showed such poor results that we started removing the ductwork to check. The flex duct in the photo was installed new less than 10 years ago when a new high efficiency furnace replaced the old house furnace. A new trunk line for the system was installed and new flex duct was added to deliver air to the floor registers.
The above photo shows the deterioration of the inner lining on the flex duct. What is seen is the fiberglass insulation that lines the duct and has been blowing through the house since the inner liner deteriorated. The second photo is the actual floor register with all the contamination dust and debris from just below the retrofitted register. Imagine this junk blowing through your house for 10 years.

Another wet spring has foun us scrambling to repair many area roofs. If you are looking for a new roof please let us help you with the process. We specialize in asphalt and metal roofing and can help you with structural modifications for those problem roofs that need something extra. This is a good time to check out dry rot and look at straightening those older crowned rafters.

Here is a typical slow leak roof with exposed dry rot

Skip sheathed roof with dry rot seen on the right

We recently did some duct testing for some clients on a house built in the mid 60’s. As was normal for the time the house used the framing members to form HVAC chases for air supply and returns to the furnace. In 2000 the owners decided to update their old furnace with a new 90% efficiency one to increase comfort and live-ability along with reduce their heating costs. During our initial inspection we were unable to pressurize the houses ductwork to even 5pa using our high output fans.(5pa is about the force of a slow exhale).
Upon inspecting the crawlspace we were able to determine that along with having a 8” supply that was originally capped off with duct tape that had long ago failed and now vented directly into the crawlspace. There were multiple penetrations of plumbing and electrical through their pan ducts that when the system was turned on and we were in the crawlspace we could actually feel the air flow in the crawlspace through entire area.
While access is very limited and difficult for this type of work, the furnace is reduced to maybe 40% of its output going into conditioned space. The air return picking up any dust and insulation from the crawlspace and returning it back to the confines of the house. Imagine the dust and health concerns this would raise.

Insulation upgrades: when does it make a difference? We often look at jobs here in Corvallis where older homes with minimal insulation are being renovated. One of the easiest and best ways to tighten a houses thermal performance is through adding insulation to walls, ceilings and floors. As many people later find, doing this single simple upgrade can lead to huge comfort factor to your existing house. People often talk of energy savings from window and door upgrades, what to expect and which makes more sense. In reality there is no magic bullet to improving a house, each is unique in needs and construction. When you think of doing upgrades, think of the comfort level you will get from the alteration, not the money you expect to receive from the energy savings. A comfortable house is healthier, more environmentally stable, safer and all in all a better living environment. When we built our office downtown off of 4th street, we new we would be close to the traffic noise of the road. Choosing a few simple cost effective upgrades helped us block out a vast amount of the daily traffic buzz thus making our internal space quieter and more efficient. Was the minimal effort worth it? Without a doubt! This type of consideration becomes an important part of each and every one of our jobs.

Were you aware that the Energy Trust of Oregon as well as the Federal Government gives you money for upgrading your house with more energy efficient windows? While in the past you used to be able to qualify for this incentive money with windows alone, now you must do it along with another upgrade to qualify. Add insulation to your attic or under-floor. Add a new insulated door to your house. Have your house HVAC tested and sealed against leaks in your ductwork. Add a new efficient furnace or hot water heater to your house.
All of the above qualifies you for money back on your investment. It makes cents to do these upgrades now. Please call us for a quote for your home and we’ll help you come up with a way to upgrade your personal environment and get maximum incentive money for it.

With our specialty equipment and training we can pressurize your house as well as your ducts to determine the amount of leakage that exists within your conditioned air delivery system.

Your HVAC system is made up of two parts working together. The source of the heating and cooling and the delivery system. As most HVAC contractors push on up selling you high efficiency furnaces and air conditioners, a large part of your heating and cooling loss may be located in the delivery system.

Leaky ducts have large negative impacts on efficiency, comfort, safety and most of all health. Most home owners never consider what may be found within the ducts of their house. Large leaks from attic returns can constantly draw in fiberglass particles and dust from unheated space.

Leaky supplies and returns can result in poor heating and cooling, increased risk of allergy, Hot or cold spots, general poor air quality and just plain high bills.

We do a pre test to check the amount of leakage to the outside conditioned space.

Our specialty trained guys can then seal your ducts and improve your performance to enable you utilize the efficiency of you HVAC equipment.

Our post test will then measure your reduced leakage. If your system leakage is reduced by 50% you qualify for Energy trust rebates as well as Department of Energy tax credits.
The ETO rebate is currently listed as 50% of the job cost for sealing the ducts up to $400.00.
The ODOE tax credit is 25% of the cost of the sealing job up to $250.00
The initial duct test rebate is $35.00

How can you afford to pass this up?

Ryan Thompson
GCCI Project Supervisor

Who We Are

We are premier builders for additions, remodeling and new construction for Corvallis and the Willamette Valley. We specialize in unique and challenging projects and apply sustainable building principles.

Contact Information

Please call us for a Free Estimate!

541.754.6326

541.207.2240

gcci@comcast.net

644 NW 4th St. Corvallis, OR

Greg Christianson

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