Even if your home’s heating and cooling systems boast state-of-the-art HVAC equipment with optimum energy efficiency, when the ductwork is aging and deteriorating, your home can’t be as comfortable or energy efficient as it could be otherwise. But how can you tell your old ductwork is failing?
There are several red flags to watch for but first it’s important to know what happens when ductwork gets old. Over time duct sections will separate or deteriorate, and leaks will develop. Ducts that aren’t airtight will leak conditioned air, often into unconditioned areas such as wall voids and crawlspaces. Your HVAC system will have to run longer and harder to compensate for this lost air. Leaks in return ducts may unbalance airflow in your system, and likewise force the equipment to work harder. Either way, this wastes energy, unnecessarily stresses equipment, and decreases comfort.
Leaky ducts also can impair indoor air quality as dirty, contaminated air from unconditioned areas — and possibly even deadly carbon monoxide — can get sucked into bad ducts and then circulate in your home.
How Can You Tell You Have Old Ductwork?
- If you have an old house with the original ductwork, you don’t need any fancy guidelines. Your ductwork is old.
- If you can see rust or other types of corrosion, or can detect the actual leaks, your ductwork is deteriorating and probably old. If it’s failing in one place, it’s probably failing in others.
- If airflow is inconsistent in certain rooms in your home, it could mean failing ducts serving those rooms.
- Household energy bills that have been rising in recent years, with no other reasonable explanation, could be a sign that your old ductwork is failing.
If your home has any of these signs of old ductwork, consider hiring a trusted local HVAC contractor to perform a comprehensive inspection of your home’s ductwork. They’ll use sophisticated diagnostic equipment to measure air pressure in the ducts, detect leaks and ascertain whether they need to be cleaned.
To discuss your Grand Traverse County home’s aging ductwork, please contact us at Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about ductwork and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 231-714-6196.
Credit/Copyright Attribution: “bernard-zajac/Shutterstock”