Air Duct Repair and Maintenance is Healthy For Your Heating System, and You!
HVAC Air Duct Repair, Installation and Maintenance
Leaky ductwork can waste 10% to 30% of your home’s heating and/or air conditioning costs. The condition of your ductwork system contributes significantly to your energy costs and personal health and comfort levels. Also, your furnace or air conditioner will perform better and last longer with proper ductwork and vent piping care. These are just some of the reasons why you should have your HVAC ductwork regularly inspected and repaired. Listed below are some of the most common problems involving ductwork.
Common Air Duct Problems
Problem: Improperly designed duct system
Explanation: According to the National Comfort Institute, the average duct system in the U.S. is only 57% efficient. One of the biggest reasons for this is that a poorly designed and installed system cannot supply and return the required airflow to heat and cool your house effectively even if your equipment is sized correctly and functioning properly.
Problem: Leaking ductwork
Explanation: The average home loses about 20% to 40% of the air that circulates through its ducts, causing major inefficiencies in your heating or cooling system. Getting your ducts sealed ensures you will lose less air, meaning your system won’t be overworked trying to bring your rooms to a comfortable temperature. Leaky ducts can also allow pollutants to enter your home, negatively affecting your indoor air quality.
Problem: Loose or poorly sealed registers and grills
Explanation: Air that you have already paid to heat or cool can escape your ducts before it ever reaches your rooms if your registers are not sealed or are not sealed well at the duct connection. Checking these connections can prevent your HVAC system from unnecessarily working harder to counter the effect of poor seals.
Problem: Damage to flexible plastic air ducts
Explanation: Flexible plastic air ducts are commonly found in the attic of many homes. Damage to these ducts can restrict airflow, forcing your system to work harder to move air throughout your house. If you have insulated flexible ductwork, check to make sure it is not kinked, crushed, torn or twisted.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are some common sense tips involving air ducts?
A: Never allow vents and registers to be blocked by furniture or other household objects. Also, regularly clean any vents that have dust or debris on them.
Q: What are some other benefits of keeping my ductwork well maintained?
A: Maintaining and cleaning your ductwork helps your system run more efficiently, which extends the life of your heating and cooling equipment. And, of course, the cleaner air is far healthier for those (one in six Americans) who suffer from allergies or asthma.
Q: How do I know if I need my ducts serviced?
A: Signs that you need your ducts cleaned, maintained or sealed include: energy bills that are higher than usual; certain rooms that are harder to heat or cool; visible evidence of ducts that are tangled, kinked or damaged. Another sign can be a stale or musty odor when the furnace or air conditioner is operating.
Q: Does my duct system really get that dirty?
A: Studies show that in a typical six-room home, up to 40 pounds of dust is created each year just through everyday living. We also generate significant quantities of pollutants and contaminants, potentially including mold and fungi, that are pulled into the HVAC system and recirculated five to seven times per day, causing a buildup of unhealthy elements in the ducts.
Q: Is it possible to do some of the duct maintenance work myself?
A: Yes. According to the EPA’s Energy Star program, “Some homeowners choose to take on duct sealing as a do-it-yourself project.” The EPA offers tips for such homeowners, as well as those who choose to work with Heritage for duct improvement projects.