You may have already caulked and weather-stripped the envelope of your house to the
point that it’s airtight – and you may still be wasting energy. That’s why it’s important
to have a professional examine your home’s duct-work for maximum energy efficiency.
According to field research performed by the California Energy Commission, you can
save roughly 10 percent of your heating bill by preventing leaky ducts. Leaky ducts
waste heated and cooled air even before it arrives inside your carefully weather-
stripping building envelope. Ductwork is the bond of your entire HVAC system.
If properly installed and maintained it eliminates extra and costly headaches that come
with owning a home or building, including poor indoor air quality, high utility bills and dust.
8 Signs You Need Air Duct Repair
1. Dust and Dirt Around the Air Vents
An unclean air duct is more trouble than it’s worth it. At best, your house is always dusty. At worst, your family is exposed to allergens, fungus, and molds that cause serious respiratory problems. When you start to see dust and dirt accumulating around your air vents, there is an issue with the filtration in your air ducts. HVAC systems circulate the air through your home, and damaged ductwork will not clean the air properly. Air moves through the ductwork, and exits through the vents. The air intakes through the system to heat or cool your rooms. Normally, dust and debris is caught in the air filters that you change regularly. If there is dust, dirt and grime that gets into the machinery of the central air conditioner, that can cause costly repairs. Leaky or damaged air ducts can be a place where dirt and dust enters the ductwork. We discussed in this article signs that will tell you if you have dirty air ducts. If you find your air duct needing a clean-up for more than every six months, you should check if your air duct is broken. If you receive service from Guardian Heating and Air, we will tell you if your air duct has any issues for free.
2. Unexpected Higher Energy Bills
Every region has it’s seasons spikes in energy bills. But if your electric bill seems abnormally high, and the rest of your air conditioning system appears to be in working order, leaky or faulty air ductwork may be the explanation. Cooled or heated air moves through the ductwork in your home, and if the air ducts were not installed correctly, or if there are leaks, much of that energy can be leaking out. Your central AC system has to fight uphill to reach the desired temperature, so more energy is expended. If your heating and cooling bills are sharply increasing out of nowhere, call a licensed HVAC contractor to inspect the air ducts for signs of damage or faulty installation.
3. Air Ductwork is Making Strange Noises
If your HVAC system is making unusual ghastly or monstrous noises, your air ducts might be damaged. Air duct damage causes your central unit to exert an extra amount of effort to its job. If your system is at full-throttle round the clock, it’s going to wear and tear faster than normal. You’ll know if there is a ductwork malfunction as soon as you turn on the HVAC system, as you will hear booming, popping, or banging sounds. This occurs when the duct’s inner metal membrane expands as the air pressure changes when you turn on the heating or cooling. Unusual noises might also come from ill-fitted ducts, or from the joints in the ductwork, or holes in the air ducts. If you hear loud noises when you turn on the air, call a professional HVAC company to find out if your duct is the proper size for your system.
4. Uneven Temperatures Throughout Your Home
Your house should have no trouble keeping the same temperature in every part of the room. If one room is noticeably warmer than the rest of the house, your air ducts might be compromised. Your ducts should be blowing the same cold air from room to room. If your ducts aren’t able to deliver that, your ducts are damaged, blocked, or ruptured. That’s an expensive problem to have, unaddressed or not.
5. Poor Airflow From Your HVAC System
Low air flow can occur for several reasons. There can be broken seals, cracks or tears in your ducting, allowing air to leak out. This means less air makes it to the air vent, and little air is circulated. There can also be too few return air vents. If there are not enough return registers, then air is not recirculated. Another reason your AC may have low air flow is if the ducts are disconnected or crushed. Air can easily leak out if the ducts are improperly installed. Undersized vents or oversized air ductwork are another reason air flow can be underpowered. Lastly, debris or building material can be blocking the airways if you don’t clean the air ducts or change the air filter regularly. This can lead to even more expensive issues with your central AC.
6. Smelling Mold or Mildew
If your house reeks of mildew or mold every time you turn on the AC or heater, that can indicate an air duct leak, or poorly insulated ducts. Mold or mildew appear when the temperature is uneven outside the ductwork. If the outside of the ductwork is warm, and the ducts are blowing cold air, condensation can appear if there is inadequate insulation, or leaks in the ductwork or joints. The same thing can happen if the outside air is cold and you are running warm air through your ductwork. There can also be a moisture leak on the vents themselves. Mold should never be ignored. It can cause great health risks to your family and ruin your home. If you notice any unusual odors coming out of your system, call HVAC professionals as soon as possible.
7. Signs of Pest Infestation
If your ductwork has holes and crevices, it can allow pests to find a fertile breeding ground. Insects can get into ductwork through small holes, and rats or mice can get through larger holes. If you see dead insects or mouse droppings near vents, or if you smell something foul from a duct, call a pro. You’ll need to get rid of the pests, and get any holes in your ductwork fixed to prevent further issues.
8. Your Air Ducts Are Old or Tangled
Most ductwork lasts between ten and fifteen years. Over time, the air ducts, seams, joints and seals can deteriorate. Also, if anything heavy leans on the ductwork, such as in the attic, it can become kinked, tangled, or dented. If you notice any of these scenarios in visible ductwork, call a licensed HVAC company like Guardian Heating and Air to fix the air ducts.