Signs of Ductwork That is Aging

Signs of Ductwork That is Aging

Signs of Ductwork That is AgingOne of the household systems that many of us tend to take for granted is ductwork — the network of large, usually square pipes that distributes conditioned air throughout the house, and then returns it to HVAC equipment to be reheated or cooled. At some point in the life of your home, you’ll have to address old ductwork that’s no longer doing its job. If you know some of the signals of aging ductwork, you can repair or replace it before it starts wasting energy and eroding home comfort.

What Happens When Aging Ductwork Fails?

Ductwork that’s been in a home for 15-20 years or longer is prone to gradual failure, with leaks developing between connections and in other places. Ducts leaking heated or cooled air into unconditioned spaces such as crawl spaces, wall cavities and the basement forces the HVAC system to work harder to make up for the lost air. It wastes energy, erodes comfort and stresses equipment.

Leaky ductwork also can be prone to backdrafting, a phenomenon where dirty or contaminated air (or even carbon monoxide) gets sucked into holes in the ducts, then is circulated into household air.

How Can You Tell You Have Old Ductwork?

  • It might be as simple as checking the age of your house if it still has the original ducts. If the house and its ductwork are older than 15 years or so, you should hire a trusted professional to inspect the ducts, employing special high-tech equipment. They’ll recommend a course of action, including possible repair or replacement.
  • Inspect visible, accessible ductwork. If you can see that it’s loose or notice rust or corrosion, this is another sign that it’s old and needs attention.
  • If airflow in your home seems inconsistent from room to room, it could signal some duct runs are leaking or even disconnected.
  • Are your heating and cooling bills higher than in the past with no obvious explanation? Old ductwork could be the culprit.

To schedule a professional ductwork inspection for your Peachtree City-area home, please contact us at Powers Heating & Air.


Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “bernard-zajac/Shutterstock”

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