DIY Duct Sealing Vs. Professional Duct Sealing

It’s no surprise that energy bills go up during heavy use months (summer and winter). But if your utility bills are unusually high and the home never seems to get comfortable, you could have a problem with your air ducts.

Ducts that to move air to and from your central HVAC system are notoriously inefficient. Even perfectly sealed and insulated ducts lose some heating and cooling, especially if they are located in unconditioned areas of the home, such as attics and crawlspaces.

According to the U.S. EPA, “about 20 to 30 percent of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts.” Luckily, by sealing and insulating your air ducts, you can improve your HVAC system’s efficiency by 20%, and sometimes much more.

Top three benefits of a well-sealed duct system:


Not achieving the desired temperature you want in your home no matter how long you run the furnace or air conditioner? Do you have hot and cold spots in your home and can’t seem to cool every room? Don’t sacrifice your comfort, especially if your HVAC system is in good shape. The issue is most likely with your air ducts, especially if they are located in unconditioned areas of the home. If you are able to identify the gaps/leaks on your own, DIY may be the way to go.

Although minor duct repairs can be made on your own, for more complicated projects and inspections, go with a professional. Together you can achieve the comfort you desire this summer.

Energy Efficiency

An HVAC system cannot be energy efficient if there are poor connections and leaks in the air ducts. If your bills have been rising, then leaky air ducts could be the culprit. Your home will be more comfortable, your bills will be lower, and Mother Earth will thank you for ensuring your air ducts are well-sealed.


A well-sealed duct system is a safe HVAC system. Keep your home and your HVAC system protected with maintenance, insulation, and sealing.

This includes checking your air vents to make sure no rugs or furniture are blocking them and periodically vacuuming and cleaning the registers to remove dirt and dust.

How do I know if my home has poorly performing ducts?

  • Do you have high summer and winter utility bills?
  • Do you have rooms that are difficult to heat and cool?
  • Do you have stuffy rooms that never seem to feel comfortable?
  • Are your ducts located in an attic, crawlspace, or the garage?
  • Do you find tangled or kinked flexible ducts in your system?

Source: U.S. EPA

Answering yes to all, some, or even one of the questions above is an indication to discuss duct sealing with your local HVAC company. Once you are knowledgeable about the process and have determined that duct sealing is the best solution for your home, then you are able to decide if hiring a professional or going DIY is more your style.

Is Duct Sealing a DIY project?

Duct sealing is one of those projects where homeowners often ask if they can do it themselves or if they need to hire a professional. There are pros and cons to both, and it’s really up to your ability and your will to complete the project solo. Before you begin this important home improvement for your HVAC, research the best methods and most common errors when done DIY.

How to Seal Air Ducts by Yourself

If you do decide to DIY it, you can test for air leaks at each of your duct connections with a lit incense stick or thin piece of toilet paper. Hold it up next to your ducts while the air is on. If the smoke or paper begins to move erratically, you have an air leak.

When sealing air ducts, we recommend using mastic sealant. Ironically, duct tape is a poor choice as it quickly begins to peel. If you’d rather use tape instead of mastic sealant, look for specially designed HVAC aluminum foil tape.

When to DIY & When to Call a Professional

You need to locate your ducts in order to seal them. They can be behind walls and in the ceiling and are often also found in the attic and/or basement. If you feel there is an air duct leak repair needed in a difficult location, such as the basement, call a professional to come assess the best way to access and repair the leak.

If your air ducts are difficult to access, call a professional. Professional Duct Sealing Companies use special technology to seal all of your duct connections from the inside. That way, every single opening gets covered. Your HVAC company will also be able to effectively insulate your ducts for even greater savings. This is especially important for ductwork that runs in attics, basements, and other unconditioned spaces.

Service Champions is a professional contractor that does duct improvement projects, including sealing, cleaning, installation, repair, and maintenance.

DIY vs. Professional Duct Sealing Recap

As with most things HVAC related, it’s advised to hire a professional if you are looking to do more than repair a simple leak with aluminum foil tape or mastic sealant. If you are looking for more information on duct sealing for your home or business, reach out to the professionals at Service Champions. We can advise what will work best for you and your HVAC needs.

It’s best to seal your ducts before summer or winter when we use our HVAC systems the most. Book now to discover the difference a well-designed-and-sealed duct system can make.

Service Champions is known for trustworthy, on-time home service throughout the East Bay, South Bay, and Sacramento areas.

For more information on taking care of your HVAC system, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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