In episode 66 of the On the Job video series, Larry Janesky, owner and founder of Dr. Energy Saver, is back to once again talk about the energy waste problem created by HVAC ducts that run through an unconditioned attic.
The energy penalties in these cases are so significant that Larry had previously dedicated an entire episode to discuss this problem -- the "Problems with Ducts in the Attic" video available on Dr. Energy Saver YouTube Channel -- and is now back to the subject.
This time, with the help of thermal imaging equipment, Larry walks us through a recent inspection performed by his company, demonstrating exactly how much heat can be gained or lost year round through ducts that run through unconditioned attics.
In this particular home, the inspection performed in mid-May found an unconditioned attic with temperatures reaching scorching 115 degrees, housing long lines of air ducts and an air handler -- all of which were also very leaky contributing for an even higher rate of energy loss.
The running air conditioning system was consuming energy to cool the air down to approximately 55 degrees while the air ran through a handler with a metal case that was just as hot as the attic itself. With long lines of uninsulated ducts, it kept gaining heat on the way to the rooms it was supposed to cool.
In the master bedroom -- closest to the handler -- the air coming out of the vents was only 2 degrees below the target temperature. That means that the air conditioner would have to work longer and harder just to make that room comfortable.
In another room, further from the handler, the air gained so much heat while running through the long, uninsulated duct that it was coming out of the vents 10 degrees hotter than the target temperature. That room simply couldn't be made comfortable until late at night.
If you consider that an average of 40% of all the energy consumed by the typical home in the US goes towards heating and cooling, you can imagine how much energy and money this homeowner had been wasting year-round. Over the course of many years, just because the uninsulated and leaky air ducts run through an attic that is scorching hot during the summer and freezing cold during the winter, the homeowner was literally throwing money away.
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