Your ductwork is responsible for circulating conditioned air around your house. It’s not unusual for ductwork to become damaged over time. Damaged ductwork can affect HVAC efficiency and allow contaminants such as dirt, dust, dander, and pollen to enter the ventilation shafts and get blown out into the air you breathe.
If left unaddressed, faulty ductwork can lead to expensive repairs and affect the lifespan of the unit. Watch out for these signs of bad ductwork to prevent catastrophic failure and costly repairs, repair or replace your ductwork in a timely manner.
Unusually Noisy Heating Or Cooling System
It is common for heating and cooling systems to make some noise when they come on and during operation, but any other weird noises can indicate an underlying problem. If you hear unusual rattling noises that appear to be coming from behind your drywall or the system makes a vibrating noise, your ductwork may be to blame.
When your ductwork has holes, air passing through it creates unusual noises. The air passing through damaged connector joints can also create weird noises. If you are hearing weird noises coming from your unit, have a professional check your ductwork as soon as possible or it may grow worse leading to a costly repair.
Your Energy Bills Is Going up
Is your energy bill going up? Your ductwork may be to blame. Maybe your ductwork is damaged and is leaking conditioned air, forcing your unit to work harder and longer than unusual. An overworked HVAC consumes more energy than usual. It can overheat and stop working.
Some other common reasons for high heating/cooling costs include failing parts, dirty filters and low refrigerant. Lack of maintenance and faulty installation can also affect your unit’s efficiency and, as a result, your energy bill. Whatever the reason, have your contractor inspect your HVAC.
Uneven Air Distribution
Are some of the rooms in your home unusually cool or warm? Uneven heating or cooling is one of the most common signs of damaged ductwork. When there are tears in your ducts or the joints are improperly sealed, conditioned air leaks out. As a result, it is unable to reach its intended destination.
If you are experiencing this problem, have a technician inspect your unit immediately. The professional will conduct an examination to determine if your ducts need cleaning or are damaged beyond repair and need to be replaced.
A dust-covered supply or return vent can indicate faulty ductwork. If you haven’t replaced your air filters for a long time, they may be full to their capacity. To address the problem, clean your vents and replace your air filters If, however, you have been replacing your filters at recommended replacement intervals, your ductwork may be damaged beyond repair. To find out if that is the case, have a professional inspect your unit.
Your House Is Always Dusty
If your house gets frequently dusty despite regular dusting and cleaning, your ductwork may be damaged. Cracks, holes, and deteriorated duct seams allow dust that collects outside the ducts to get inside them. When you turn your HVAC system on, air stirs up the dust inside your ducts and forces it through your ductwork and into your house.
If you have a supply duct filter, it can trap some of this dirt, but not all of it. This is a serious problem and shouldn’t be overlooked. If someone in your home has a seasonal allergy, dust or any other allergen can cause an allergy flare-up.
Have a professional clean your ductwork. If the problem persists, there is a possibility that your duct is damaged beyond repair and needs to be replaced.
Mold Is Growing In Your Ducts
A musty odor coming from your ductwork could mean that it has become a breeding ground for mold and mildew. To find out if mold is growing inside your ducts, remove your vent covers. Look for signs of the mold with the help of a flashlight. If you see any black or green residue, mold is growing inside your ducts.
This is a serious problem. If mold is developing inside your ducts, your system can circulate it throughout your home when you switch it on. Mold in your home is a recipe for disaster. It can cause breathing problems and in people sensitive to molds, exposure to spores can cause wheezing and skin or eye irritation.
Do not try to remove mold yourself or you may inadvertently release mold spores in your air, aggravating the situation. Instead, have a trained professional clean your ducts.
If you still smell musty odors after the professional duct cleaning, chances are your ductwork has deteriorated in areas you cannot see and needs to be replaced.
Duct Maintenance Tips
Why wait for your ducts to get damaged or dirty and then have a professional clean or repair it when you can prevent problems in the first place. Follow these preventive maintenance tips to keep your ductwork in top shape.
➢ Periodically inspect your ducts for leaks. Address leaks as soon as possible
➢ Seal your duct joints with a mastic sealant or metal tape Be sure to seal behind the registers or grilles
➢ To prevent your ducts from losing conditioned air, insulate them and your basement walls
➢ Have a professional periodically clean and maintain your ducts. Regular duct cleaning and maintenance addresses current issues and prevents potential problems
South Placer Heating and Air is a leading HVAC contractor. We offer top-notch air conditioning repair services in El Dorado Hills. Our technicians have the expertise required to get to the root causes of heating and cooling problems and address them. To schedule an HVAC inspection, call (916)246-2089.