It is easy for homeowners to underestimate the importance of air ducts in their HVAC system. It’s also easy to take it for granted that this ductwork will stay in great shape no matter what happens, since most of the time they’re out of sight, out of mind.
However, ductwork does sustain damage at times, sometimes from corrosion and sometimes from old age. It could even be that your air ducts were poorly installed to begin with, which will have a big impact on how well your HVAC system actually performs. This can result in a drop in comfort, and an increase in the contamination that’s allowed into your home.
If ductwork has gaps, leaks, or loose connections, it must be managed with a professional duct repair service from trained and experienced professionals. Otherwise, your home can suffer from expensive efficiency issues and other problems, such as the following:
Hot or Cold Spots
Breached ductwork will cause spots in your home to be colder or hotter than the rest of the living space. If you have your heating system running during the winter, however still notice rooms that seem frigid, you likely have busted ductwork that is preventing proper airflow into those rooms.
This same issue applies in reverse to the summertime, when you may notice abnormally warm rooms even while the AC system is operating.
As conditioned air flows through your ventilation system, the ductwork expands and contracts with the fluctuation in temperature. You might hear an occasional “popping” noise when your heating system or air conditioner first cycles on–this is normal.
What’s not normal is loud rattling and shaking sounds that happen continuously. This is a warning that you have loose or damaged ducts that need repair.
Higher Than Average Utility Bills
An HVAC system that’s trying to send conditioned air through breached ductwork will have an uphill battle. This is because it will try and try to reach the desired temperature on the thermostat, but it’s already been set up for failure. The only thing that will happen is that your HVAC system will drain more power and therefore your heating and cooling bills will increase.
If you notice that your energy bills are much higher than they were this same time last year, or higher than what your neighbors are paying for similar use, it’s a sign that something in your home is working inefficiently, and it could very well be your air conditioner or heater, due to damaged ductwork.
Breached ductwork–whether it’s pinhole leaks, tears, or loose joints–can account for up to 30% air loss from your HVAC system into unoccupied spaces like the attic or crawlspace. This is conditioned air that you are paying for! So it’s essentially like throwing money away, which nobody wants to do!