Mike's Blog


Spend $14 to save hundreds of $

Would you spend $14 to save yourself Hundreds of $ over the course of a year. Here's how...

After recently completing the EcoBroker Designation I became increasingly interested in tightening my home's envelope. So I decided to crawl under my house to check out the HVAC ductwork to see just how well it was installed.

Before I go any further- let me give you a little background on my house... I live a basic 3,000 Sq ft transitional built in 1999. It's like every other neighborhood that has sprang up over the past decade. One would think a $200k house(in 1999) would be built pretty well.

What I found in my crawl space made me furious. Ive been under the house several times- but I never really paid much attention to the ductwork connections. One of my ducts was barely attached- the duct was just fitted to the boot with nothing holding it. Before I went under I turned the air on so I could feel leaks. Each of my ducts were ill fitted to the boots and EVERY ONE had leaks. I could literally feel cold air escaping from each duct and junction box.

The fix was simple- I picked up some Nashua Aluminum tape from Home Depot for $14. And all I had to do was wrap the flexible duct one time with the tape- then add a second piece around each attaching the duct to the subfloor...making sure that I sealed the duct completely to the subfloor. It may take a little more tape for different boots but the point is to seal the duct completely. After the tape job was complete- I no longer felt cold air.

I've never checked behind my HVAC contractor when they do installs on renovations. But you can bet I'll be better prepared to check this going forward. I recommend you check your own ductwork... there are literally hundreds of $ of cold air escaping those ducts. For $14 and 30 minutes- you can stop the leaks.




Mike Hogan

Associate Broker

RE/MAX Commonwealth





Comment balloon 21 commentsMike Hogan • September 17 2008 09:11PM


Great ideas Mike! I attended an energy presentation tonight by Gary Hammerlund and much of the presentation addressed air sealing in the home! Timely information you have given!

Posted by Mary McGraw, 2015: Solar Energy Is Still A Simple Machine! (GLREA) about 10 years ago

What a wast of energy! Glad you found  it -- better now than never! I would love to see you update the blog in  a few weeks comparing $ and energy usage differences! 

Posted by Bethany Phillips, MBA about 10 years ago

Unbelievable...good for you to tkae tht ime to check this though.  you will definitely save money in the long run!  On my way to check mine this weekend!

Posted by -- Casey Brischle, Spokane Home Loan Mortgage Professional (Columbia Bank) about 10 years ago

I definitely encourage everyone to check out their own- but if you want to be a hero for your clients- suggest they do the same. Better yet- suggest they get an energy audit. But at the very least they should tighten up their HVAV ducts.

Posted by Mike Hogan, MBA (The Hogan Group at Keller Williams Realty) about 10 years ago

Great tip, thank you!  I will re-blog it, so my clients can learn from you.

Posted by Mirela Monte, Myrtle Beach Real Estate (Buyers' Choice Realty) about 10 years ago

Mike, very informational! I'm bookmarking so I can refer back to it. Thanks!

Posted by Tanya Venable, SEO, Mobile SEO, and Internet Marketing Consultant about 10 years ago

I love aluminum tape! It's like a second duct tape...there's so much to do with it. For example, it is a great way to keep an open tube of caulk from drying out if you don't need to use it up all at once.

Posted by Troy Jowers, New Orleans Realtor (Pogo Realty, LLC) about 10 years ago

Ooooh Troy- I like that.

Posted by Mike Hogan, MBA (The Hogan Group at Keller Williams Realty) about 10 years ago

Mike thanks for posting this, I have never heard of an energy audit. This is a great group I've found here in the ECO-All-Stars!

Posted by Cynthia Bartch, Redesigned Spaces; All Round Nice Gal (Home Stager/Property Stylist & more! Granville, Ohio) about 10 years ago

It's the little things isn't it.  IF we all just start little, big changes would occur.  Thanks for sharing this.

Posted by Terrylynn Fisher, HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc. (Dudum Real Estate Group - BuyStageSell.com) about 10 years ago

Great tip -- not that I want to crawl under the house!  Yikes!  But in our area you can get a free energy audit!

Posted by Margaret Oscilia, Home Stager, Salem Oregon (Creative Concepts-Home Staging and Contracting, Salem Oregon) about 10 years ago

This is a great tip.  Once you start learning about these things they really open your eyes, I've found!  I think I too will re-blog this.  Thanks!

Posted by Suzanne Champion (N.J. Realty - Westerville Ohio) about 10 years ago

Thanks, Mike, for this info.  I think it give me enough information to go check my ductwork in the attic.

Posted by Heather Goodwin, GoodWin Team Realty (Licensed by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission) about 10 years ago

Heather- I definitely recommend checking them. It's such a simple fix. Stick your hand around the duct joints you'll be amazed how much air is escaping.  And thanks the add!  :)

Posted by Mike Hogan, MBA (The Hogan Group at Keller Williams Realty) about 10 years ago

Mike - Sounds like our duct work , we kept having problems in the basement ceilings. After the third "Repairman" came out they sent a foreman/manager who figured out that 2 elbows in 2 seperate locations had never been connected to the duct.

They had to rip out my ceilings in the basement to correct it , patch and paint, Our house was built in 2001 you would expect better.

Posted by Laura Gray (RE/MAX Realty Group) about 10 years ago

Excellent Idea,  I will check mine over the weekend... Thanks for this money savings tips...

Posted by Diane Daley (Caron's Gateway Real Estate) about 10 years ago

Great post Mike! I've talked with an HVAC guy that says a lot of the existing work he sees is similar to the situation you described.  Recently I heard of one homeowner who lived in a house for 6 years before finding out his ducts were actually connected to vents.

Posted by Lynn Krogseng (Keller Williams Premier Partners) about 10 years ago
Glad you found your leak. I must tell you as an inspector that uses thermal imaging as part of my normal inspections I have found many issues like this. It is one of the reasons I now offer what I call a passive energy audit. I don't need th ebig blower door and things like that. These tools are all good don't get me wrong but who is going to pay between $1200.00 and $2000.00 for an energy audit on a $200,000.00 home. They should howeve3r consider a $200.00 passive energy audit. If there is a local Home Inspector that has a thermal camera near you and they do not offer this please feel free to contact me and I can explain wht they need to do for this audit. Just think $200.00 could possibly save you or a client up to several hundred dollars a year on lost energy. Savings like that help us all go green. Well That's my rant for the day. LMAO.
Posted by Mark Reusch (A Major Inspection Service & Consulting) almost 10 years ago

All of our ductwork in Houston is in the attic, and the last guys that worked on the ac gave me some of that tape, it works really good.  So are our gas heaters, and water heaters.

Posted by Cindy Bryant, "Houston Home Staging Pros" (Redesign Etc. Home Staging) almost 10 years ago

Hi Mike, not good for ducts to due that. Good looking and thanks for letting other people know.

Posted by Johnathan Mullaney, Broker, Flagstaff Real Estate (Village Land Shoppe) almost 10 years ago

Hi Mike, I love reading blogs that give personal learning experiences. These are the lessons that make us better REALTORS®, however painful they are to go through. And Mark's advice about asking Home Inspectors if they offer passive energy audits is very helpful. Thanks to both of you for adding to my knowledge base today :-)

Frances Sanderson, Franklin, NH  REALTOR®, Certified EcoBroker® 

Posted by Frances Sanderson (Bean Group / Franklin) almost 10 years ago