I’ve always been extremely conscientious about the regular upkeep of my furnace and air conditioner. I make sure to hire a local HVAC contractor to inspect, tune and thoroughly clean the heating system in the fall, and the cooling system in the spring. Because of this, I expect both components to operate at peak capacity and efficiency. I was surprised last January when my furnace was struggling to keep up with demand. Since the outside temperature was down in the teens, I was prepared to turn up the thermostat a bit. There were still cold spots in various rooms, and the furnace seemed to be running way more than usual. I also noticed an unpleasant smell in the house and a lot more airborne dust. I finally called the HVAC contractor to come back and check out the furnace. He took the system apart and told me that everything was operating properly. The problem was the ductwork. There were a bunch of small holes, which were allowing my heated air to escape and drawing in cold, polluted outdoor air. These leaks were making it nearly impossible for the furnace to maintain an even and comfortable temperature. It forced the heating system to run longer and draw a lot more energy. I was paying needlessly high monthly bills for inferior comfort. I expected the duct sealing process to be time-consuming, messy and expensive. Instead, the HVAC contractor used a process called Aeroseal which was completed in about an hour. He sealed off all of the registers, and then blew pressurized air and adhesive particles into the duct system. As the air escaped through the holes, the adhesive particles built up along the edges and effectively sealed them.