Wayne’s Service Tips – Duct Leakage Testing
With today’s high-energy costs and the likelihood future costs will only increase, homeowners are looking for ways to save energy. In most homes the costs of heating and/or cooling their homes account for at least 30% of their energy consumption.
Installing new and more energy efficient systems is one way of saving money. However, if there is substantial leakage in their air duct system much of that savings is lost. Other than large obvious openings in a system, most leakage comes from hard to see or locate areas of a duct system. Without special equipment and established procedures it is often difficult or impossible to find the source of many leaks.
In today’s economy the cost of upgrading systems is often out of reach for many homeowners. Therefore, they’re looking for other less expensive options to reduce energy costs. Offering Duct Leakage Testing as a stand-alone business or in conjunction with your air duct cleaning or HVAC business is an excellent business opportunity with minimal investment.
Air-Care’s DLT (Duct Leakage Testing System) offers the latest technology and the simplest and surest way to get the testing done. With its sophisticated instrumentation, but easy to use software package you can perform tests without mechanical reconfiguration of a system to get a full range of flow rates.
Testing usually takes about 1 to 1 ½ hours for an average sized ranch home with one system. Grills and registers do not have to be removed, but simply sealed with a pressure sensitive tape. After sealing the grills and registers the DLT is simply connected by hose and an adapter plate to a return or supply grill (or the front of the air handler/furnace).
Unlike other duct leakage equipment, the DLT is conveniently built as a one-piece unit. It is designed this way for portability, durability, and ease of use. Instead of multiple hoses, difficult to use instrumentation and complicated charts to translate data; the DLT offers easy set-up and translation of data using your own laptop computer. Used in conjunction with your laptop computer you can get either an easy to read homeowner report or a more detailed technical report.
After testing for leakage and determining that there is an unacceptable percentage of duct leakage (usually 15% or higher), the next step is to determine the source of the leakage. This is best done by using a theater smoker, and the blower from the DLT to force harmless smoke through the duct system. Once this test is set up simply go in the attic, basement, or crawl spaces and look for leaking smoke.
Once the source of leakage is found the next step is to offer the homeowners options for repairing the damaged ducting you have located. It may be a service you also provide or refer them to a qualified professional.
The cost of providing this service can vary, but we have found most companies are charging from $150.00 to $250 per system to provide this service. At 1 ½ hours to do a test that’s equivalent to $100 to $165 per hour. We have found some companies will include the leak detection as part of this price and others charge extra for it. The cost of repairing leaks can vary greatly depending on the nature of the damage and should be charged accordingly.
No matter how you look at it or do the math a return of $100 to $165 an hour is substantial. Especially when you offer Duct Leakage Testing as an optional service when you are already in the customer’s home for other services.
Call today for pricing and other details on the DLT package. To be sure you get off on the right foot we now offer a full day of training at our Las Vegas facility in marketing and using your new DLT equipment. There is no charge for this training with the purchase of a DLT package.