What’s Wrong with My Ductwork? (and why it matters)
We know that your home’s ducts may not be the most glamorous or fascinating topic you want to talk about, but ductwork matters more than you may think. You probably don’t think about them too often, but if they get neglected, they can significantly affect your HVAC system. After all, your air conditioning unit is only as good as the ductwork it uses to distribute the cooled air.
Here’s a couple of issues that are more common than you may think and the problems that come with them!
1. Poor Duct Design
There are a number of problems that can affect your ductwork, but one of the most common ones is the design of your ductwork itself. The issue can be with both the design or the installation, but either way, it can greatly limit the airflow necessary to help your HVAC system maintain the desired temperature in your home. This can result in both inefficient and ineffective performance from your HVAC system.
2. Dirty Ductwork
While your HVAC system is busy trying to improve your air quality, it may be a hopeless battle if your ductwork hasn’t been cleaned in a while. This is one of the chief culprits of bad air quality actually contributing to the EPA’s estimation that the air quality inside your house can often end up much worse than the air outside your house. As dirt, allergens, and other pollutants accumulate in your ductwork, the need to clean them increases.
3. Leaking Ductwork
Most ductwork does leak some of the circulated air before it reaches its intended destination, but that number climbs with time. The more the flow of air comes out through leaks, the more it affects your efficiency and therefore your wallet. The solution is to have your ducts sealed, allowing your HVAC system to do less work and save you more money.
4. Non-insulated Ductwork
In addition to leaks, ductwork without good insulation will suffer lower efficiency especially during the high temperatures of summer and the low temperatures of winter. Ductwork without insulation will cause your air temperature to lower, forcing your system to work harder once more, costing you money.
5. Loose Registers and Grilles
Registers and grilles are the part of your ductwork that connects the ducts and your rooms. They are the grates on the floor, walls, and ceilings where the air comes out. If these are loose, air may be leaking out behind the wall or floor, causing energy inefficiencies in your system. One or two loose registers may not be much of a problem, but especially if you have an older home and haven’t replaced them, you may want to check. This is particularly applicable to registers and grilles on the floor in busier areas of your home where they may get bumped by chairs and feet more often.
Getting Help with Ductwork
If you aren’t sure about your duct system, a good way to approach it is by symptoms. Lack of airflow or any kind of funky smelling air circulating through your house, it is very possible that it is a ductwork issue. (If it’s an airflow issue, it also may be one of these reasons). If your system is running inefficiently or your air quality is poor, that is the time to have an HVAC professional come take a look at your ductwork.
If you have any more questions, we would be more than happy to help address any questions or concerns you may have! Drop us an email or give us a call, and we’ll get you on your way to breathing easy again.