Today is the 26th of December, the day after Christmas. Most of my family is lying around in a post-Christmas food coma, but I think that it is the perfect day to climb into my attic and check out the condition of my air ducts.
Why today? Well, it is a balmy 78 degrees, and it has been several days (almost a month) since we were solidly in the 80s. My attic is finally cool enough without being too cold. Today is also a great day as everyone is home. Yes, they are in a food coma, but just in case I need them, they are all within yelling distance.
So just what am I looking for? There are a couple of things really. First, I am looking for how the duct is laid out. I want to make sure that there are no kinks in the turns or any place where the duct has been squashed. Either of these will impede the even flow of air making some rooms warmer than others. I know this seems like something that should not happen, but I know that I did have an issue with a few squirrels in the attic this last summer, and they could have had fun messing with me.
The second major thing I am looking for is for holes and tears in the ductwork. Squirrels can also be responsible for this. Depending on the degree of the hole, I will need to decide whether it is small enough to patch with duct tape (yes, this is the actual purpose of duct tape), a patch with fiberglass mesh and mastic, or simply replace a section of the ductwork. All of these I can do myself. However, if a section is too large, or if it seems that you have a re-occuring kink, I would call a professional to come and help plan a new route for a section of the ducts.
Finally, this is also a good time to take a look at the insulation in the attic.