I noticed the air ducts were leaking

My central cooling system was only four years old when we started having some complaints with performance.  As the outside temperature warmed up, the air conditioner started struggling to handle the demand. The house felt a bit overheated and sticky.  I lowered the thermostat by several degrees, but this simply caused the cooling unit to strain harder and run for even longer cycles. It rarely shut off, and the air began to smell unpleasant.  I was forced to dust and vacuum far more often because of a greater influx of airborne contaminants. When I got my electric bill, I was very unhappy. The cost had nearly doubled. Since I am diligent about air filter changes and annual, professional maintenance, I couldn’t imagine what was causing the problem.  I called my regular HVAC company and set up an appointment for service. The HVAC contractor inspected the inner workings of the cooling equipment, and said that everything was fine. He then checked out the duct system and found tiny holes and leaks at the seams. These imperfections were enough to allow a great deal of the conditioned air to escape.  The holes also brought in contaminated outside air, which was responsible for the odors and pollutants. The duct sealing process was surprisingly quick and non-invasive. The technician first sealed off all of the supply and return vents, and then sent pressurized air into the ducts. The pressurized air was laced with adhesive particles. As the air escaped through flaws in the ducts, those particles stuck to the edges of the holes, built up and created an airtight seal.  

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