Air ducts are a significant component of your heating and cooling system, but they are usually overlooked. Many times, homeowners have no clue that a problem exists. If you think that your HVAC system is inefficient or you get consistently high energy bills, look out for these six common duct problems.
1. Poor Design
A duct system that transfers the air from one point to another with the least amount of distance and obstructions is economical and very effective. Poor design will result in inefficient heating and cooling in your home and make your energy bill skyrocket.
2. Improper Insulation
If your ducts are not correctly insulated, or not insulated at all, a lot of your money is going waste. A considerable amount of heat and air can escape this way, so it’s necessary to keep all ductwork well insulated.
3. Dirty Ducts
Dust, germs, and contaminants recirculate through your ducts, which eventually makes the air in your home much more polluted than the air outside. Cleaning the ducts regularly will improve your home’s air quality and help your system run more efficiently.
4. Inadequate Airflow (Kinks/Twists)
If you have flexible ductwork, be sure there are no kinks, twists or other obstructions restricting airflow. These kinds of ducts can even get crushed, causing significant issues with air circulation.
5. Leaking Ductwork
Loose or disconnected ductwork can cause the air to leak into open space and affect your indoor air quality too. According to the HVAC experts, the average home loses about 20-40% of the air that circulates through leaking ducts, causing major inefficiency in your HVAC system.
6. Poorly Sealed Registers and Grills
Improperly sealed registers at the duct connection cause air to escape your ducts even before reaching your rooms and also allow entry of insects, critters, and debris into your ductwork. Not only does air duct sealing impact energy efficiency, but it can also affect your unit’s lifespan.
Read some of the common questions related to HVAC ductwork below.
Is Air Duct Cleaning Necessary?
You should have your ducts and HVAC system cleaned in the following scenarios:
- Home renovation
- Animal infestation or nesting
- Visible mold growth
- Noticeable contaminants or debris
- Allergy-related illness in the family
What Kind of Ductwork Is Needed for Central Air Conditioning?
Types of ductwork needed for air conditioning are:
- Flexible ductwork
- Rigid ductwork (include sheet metal ducts, fiberglass lined ducts, fiberboard ducts)
How to Repair Leaks in Ductwork?
You can follow these steps to repair leaks in ductwork:
- Turn on the HVAC fan to locate leaks by observing the ducts for drafts that indicate escaping air.
- Turn off the fan and seal the hole or gaps by applying special metallic foil tape made for repairing ducts.
- Use a brush to place duct mastic over the tape and joints to improve the seal.