While an aging roof or plumbing system gives you obvious warning signs when they’re going bad, aging ductwork is easy to miss. As inconspicuous as it may be, though, deteriorating ductwork reduces your comfort and runs up your energy bills no matter how efficient your furnace or A/C. There are a number of ways to tell if your ducts are due for an upgrade.
Consider their age – Most duct systems are built with the understanding that they’ll eventually need to be replaced. Exactly when they’ll need repairs or replacement depends on the quality of the duct system design and installation work, and the materials used. For cheaply made systems, it could be as little as 10 years.
Look for signs of wear – Examine the accessible ductwork in your crawl space, attic, basement and elsewhere. If you find corrosion, deteriorating seals on joints, seams beginning to split, or damaged flex duct, it’s a good sign you need new ducts.
Evaluate your air flow – A register that isn’t delivering the amount of air it should be is one duct efficiency issue you’ll want to address as soon as possible. Reduced air flow signals any one of a number of potential problems related to aging ductwork, including a disconnected duct, collapsed flex duct, stuck fire damper or broken down insulation. These problems do more than prevent your rooms from reaching a comfortable temperature. They also cause a pressure imbalance in the system, which worsens air leaks and strains the fan motor.
Call in a pro – A heating and cooling technician can bring specialized equipment, such as a Duct Blaster, to accurately measure duct leakage. The Duct Blaster test can be combined with the blower test to determine how much conditioned air is leaking outdoors. Excessive leakage means you’ll need to either seal your ducts or completely replace them.
Whether you’ve found signs of aging ductwork or you just want to ensure your system is running at top efficiency, please contact us at Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing. In Traverse City and all around Grand Traverse County, we’ll help you stay comfortable affordably.
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 Resource guide.
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