How tight are your HVAC ducts? If you’re among the majority of homeowners, you probably don’t know the answer. Ductwork is usually out of sight, in an attic, a wall or a crawl space and can be difficult to reach and evaluate. Tight ducts are essential for efficiently heating a home, so your ductwork should be inspected and repaired, if necessary, every few years.
How Ductwork Deteriorates
The ductwork installed in a new home is usually not the best quality, so can’t be expected to perform well for more than a few years. Over time, ducts will start to deteriorate, with sections coming apart, tears and cracks appearing, and in the case of flexible ducting, becoming twisted. Construction projects involving the attic or crawl space may result in damage to the ducts without you being aware of it.
The efficiency of your HVAC system depends on many factors, including the ability of the system to deliver air by means of an airtight system of ductwork. If your ducts are not tight, air will leak out in unconditioned spaces. According to government figures, as much as 30 percent of conditioned air in a typical residence is lost through leaks in ductwork. Also, humidity can enter into the ductwork, and in summer, that means your cooling efficiency will be diminished.
Signs of Ductwork Problems
Some of the signs that your ductwork may not be as tight as it should be are:
- Uneven heating and cooling
- Rattling and clanging sounds coming from the ductwork
If you’re able to, visually inspect your ductwork for tears, cracks or loose seams. If you require professional help, ask your HVAC technician to inspect the ductwork during your preventative maintenance appointment. If ducts are inside walls, you may need a professional blower door test to determine if the ductwork is leaking air.
Repairs to ducts can be made with mastic sealant, duct screws and metal foil tape. Never use duct tape, as it won’t hold together for long.
For more on tight ducts, contact Powers Heating and Air. We proudly serve customers in the Peachtree City area.
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 ductwork and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.
Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Baloncici/Shutterstock”