Air ducts are taken for granted by almost every house owner. However, without ducts your heating and cooling system would not be able to bring your Northern California house to a comfortable living temperature. You may be losing money with dirty ducts, failing ducts, or improperly designed and installed ductwork. It may also be affecting your comfort along with higher energy bills which is disconcerting when energy and living costs are increasing because of new policies. These are a few common problems with HVAC ducts that you should know about:
1. Duct Systems that are Improperly Designed
The average duct system in the United States as per the National Comfort Institute is just 57% efficient because of any number of problems. However, improperly designed and inadequate ductwork systems are the single leading concern. Your unit cannot supply ore receive returned airflow with an inadequately designed and installed duct system. The unit may not be able to heat or cool your house efficiently or effectively even if the unit is functioning properly and sized correctly.
2. Ductwork is Leaking
The average house loses about 20 – 40% of conditioned air circulating through the ducts. This can make your heating or cooling system significantly inefficient. You can reduce the loss of airflow by sealing your ducts properly. This will allow the rooms to come to a comfortable temperature far sooner. It will also ensure that the heating and cooling unit doesn’t need to work that hard. Leaks are also a cause of concern since they allow outside pollutants to enter the house, which can negatively affect the indoor air quality.
3. Grills and Registers are Poorly Sealed or Loose
Air can escape if the registers are not sealed well or at all at the duct connection. This is even before the air gets to reach your rooms. This is loss of conditioned air which you have already paid for to bring your house to a comfortable temperature.
4. Kinked, Crushed, Twisted or Torn Insulated Flexible Plastic Air Ducts
Flexible plastic air ducts have become quite common in several homes. They are usually installed in the attic. Make sure the flexible ductwork is not crushed, kinked, twisted, or torn. These restrictions can cause the unit to work harder at circulating conditioned air throughout the rooms.
5. Uninsulated or Not Fully Insulated Air Ducts
Temperature controlled air can escape the HVAC system through more than just leaks. You can lose cooled air in the summers and heated air in winters through ducts that are not installed properly. Your system will become overall efficient by properly insulating the ductwork.
6. Air Ducts are Dirty
According to the EPA, air quality within a house can be 100 times worse than outdoor air quality. The problem gets exacerbated with ducts that don’t get cleaned regularly. Pollutants, dust, and germs in the ductwork may recirculate within the house whenever your HVAC system is running. You should get your ducts cleaned thoroughly to improve the air quality inside your home.
Air ducts are the pathways by which conditioned air is transported to every room and corner in your house. You don’t want these air ducts to get clogged, blocked, choked, or damaged in any way. Get a trained HVAC technician to have a look at the duct system in your house if you suspect trouble.