Poor duct design or deteriorating ducts can cause several problems in the average home, from uneven temperatures to increased energy bills, excessive HVAC wear and indoor air quality issues. To make matters worse, one or more of these problems may go unnoticed since the ducts are generally installed out of sight.
Use this guide to determine if your ducts need modifying or a little TLC, or if a replacement is in order.
Spotting Shoddy Ductwork
Once you are familiar with the telltale signs of ailing air ducts, they are easy to spot.
- Uneven airflow and temperatures in your home may be caused by incorrectly sized ducts and/or duct leaks.
- Loose ducts often make rattling and clamoring sounds.
- Ducts over five years old should be inspected for wear, design flaws and cleanliness.
- Dirty ducts contribute to the release of harmful airborne contaminants.
- If mold is detected on the interior surfaces of air ducts or you smell musty odors, address the problem immediately.
- Building cavities are used to convey airflow, rather than air ducts.
- High energy bills are a sign of duct leaks, poorly insulated ducts and/or poor design.
Repair, Retrofit or Replace?
The best course of action to take to remedy duct problems is a professional evaluation by your service provider. Sophisticated tools and testing equipment are used to measure air pressure, heat gain/loss, humidity levels and pinpoint leaks.
Some duct problems are easy to spot yourself, such as fallen ducts, a lack of insulation and debris buildup on the supply registers. Make a note of registers with poor airflow. Use a flashlight to check for dirt inside each register. If you notice these or any other telltale signs, such as noisy ducts, contact your service provider for an inspection.
There are situations where it is to your advantage to replace ducts. If you are installing a heating or cooling system, you may need new ducts. If your ductwork is moldy, you are better off replacing those portions.
For a thorough ductwork evaluation by a qualified expert, contact Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing in Grand Traverse County today.
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: “iQoncept/Shutterstock”