Why Do A/C Duct Boots Need To Be Sealed And Insulated?

If you're a homeowner and not an expert in heating and cooling, you may not know much about the parts of a duct system. But the ducts in your home are essential for delivering the cold air from the air conditioner that you need to keep your home comfortable all summer long. By giving them a little attention, you can improve your comfort level while potentially spending less on cooling. Find out what duct boots are and why they need to stay sealed to prevent leakage, condensation, and rising costs.

Understanding Duct Boots

The boots of the ducts are the parts that attach to the vents in each room of the home. These parts are boxy and help transition between the shape of the ducts and the vents. Since this is the place where each duct connects to the room, it's more important than you may think for delivering the cool air from the A/C unit. If there are any leaks around the edges or issues with the fit, the air will escape into the unfinished parts of the home rather than making it into the room.

Solving Air Leaks

Unfortunately, duct boots are prone to air leaks. They tend to only be nailed in place up against the vent, with little extra adhesive or reinforcement to prevent them from slipping. You can often see these air leaks by using a flashlight and looking around the edges of the vent where it should join perfectly to the duct boot. If you can see darkness around the edges of the boot instead, the air is leaking out and you're not getting all the cooling you deserve in that room. Even a few leaking boots can significantly reduce comfort levels while increasing costs. These air leaks are best solved by lining the duct boot up perfectly and caulking the place where they join to the vent or covering the seam with spray foam.

Preventing Condensation

Duct boots can also lead to water issues inside of ceiling, wall, and floor cavities even if they fit tightly with minimal air leaks. Summer leads to air conditioning use, which sends cold air through the metal duct boots. When there is warm and humid air around the exterior of this part, condensation quickly forms and drips off the surface. Adding insulation around the outside of each duct boot can prevent this common source of recurring leaks and mold.

For more information, contact an AC system repair service near you.