How to Tell When the Home’s Air Ducts Need Service
In any home with central heating or air conditioning, the air ducts are what allow air to be distributed to every room in the house. So if something goes wrong with the home’s ductwork, it can affect every aspect of the home’s HVAC system, from efficiency and performance to comfort and indoor air quality. And unfortunately, air duct problems are more common than most people think.
Like any other part of a home, ducts can get dirty, damaged, and worn over time for a variety of reasons. When this happens, it’s best to repair them as soon as possible - or replace them if they’re in bad enough shape. But the signs of a broken or aging air duct aren’t exactly common knowledge, so this article will share how to identify possible air duct issues, how pros can fix them, and the benefits of replacing them altogether.
Common Signs of Damaged Air Ducts
A home’s air ducts are typically difficult to access and tucked away out of sight, but homeowners can still detect problems with their ducts by looking out for the symptoms. Here are the most common signs of faulty ductwork:
- Higher energy bills - Leaky, clogged, or poorly insulated ductwork can cause a loss of pressure and temperature, which hinders the system’s energy efficiency and causes the utility bills to spike.
- Uneven heating or cooling - If some parts of the home (especially those closest to the blower unit) reach the desired temperature while others remain too cold or too warm, the ducts are likely to blame.
- Poor airflow - Similarly, if some rooms seem stuffy or have weak airflow coming from the registers, the home’s ducts may be damaged or simply undersized.
- Strange odors - A musty smell may indicate the presence of mold in the ducts, which can occur in humid regions if the ducts get dirty due to a leak or lack of maintenance. In some cases, it may be necessary to replace mold-infested ducts.
- Strange noises - Whistling, howling, rattling, or banging noises coming from the ducts may indicate that sections of the ductwork are split, crushed, or loose.
- Old age - If the ductwork is more than 15 years old, it may be time to replace it. Not only can older air ducts become worn or damaged over time, but they may also lack the proper insulation that newer ducts have, making them less efficient.
When homeowners notice these signs, they should contact their trusted local HVAC company to inspect the ducts and pinpoint the cause of the issue.
Key Benefits of Air Duct Replacement
Upon inspection, a professional may determine that some or all of the home’s air ducts need to be replaced, whether because the damage is too extensive, the ducts are outdated, or mold has contaminated them to the point of no return. While this can be a costly project, it does have some significant and long-lasting benefits.
For one thing, installing new ductwork can lower energy bills by improving airflow, eliminating leaks, and reducing temperature loss, all of which make the system run more efficiently. Air duct replacement can also help improve indoor air quality since dust and other contaminants won’t be able to infiltrate the ducts through gaps, and mold won’t be able to take hold in new, clean ducts. The system can also run quieter with newer ducts, provided they’re properly installed.
How Professionals Repair Air Ducts
In many cases, air duct problems are small enough that they can be repaired without having to replace massive runs of ductwork. If a section of ductwork has become disconnected at a joint or connection, a technician can often rejoin it and seal the connection with a special foil tape or mastic sealant. They may also mount the duct more securely to a joist or beam to prevent it from coming loose in the future.
If the ducts are poorly insulated, or the insulation has become damaged by rodents or old age, technicians may simply replace it with new, more effective insulation. Likewise, they may replace individual sections of ductwork that are damaged or outdated. In many cases, if the ducts have become dirty due to leaks or infestation, the technicians may perform a duct cleaning as part of the repair process - so homeowners can enjoy cleaner air, lower energy bills, and a more comfortable home!
About Stuart Pro Heating & Air
Stuart Pro Heating & Air is a family-owned and operated business serving Buford, GA, and the surrounding areas for over 20 years. They provide flat rate pricing, on-time arrival, and a membership plan. Call them today for AC or heating services in Buford, GA.