For the majority of home HVAC systems, ducts are a vital component to keep an eye on throughout the year. Responsible for carrying treated air to various parts of your home, ducts must be both open and properly sealed to perform these duties – and issues in these areas can lead to both HVAC component damage and reduced efficiency as air is either blocked or escapes from ducts in the wrong places.
At Action Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric, several of our high-quality HVAC services include basic duct inspections and even minor repairs if needed, such as our air conditioning maintenance and repair services we offer to many during this spring season. There are two broad categories for duct issues that may take place in the home: Those caused by prior installation issues and those caused by general damage or wear-and-tear over time. Let’s look at both areas to help you understand how to ensure your air ducts are operating properly.
Improper Duct Installation and Sizing
In some cases, issues with your air ducts trace back to when these were installed, usually to specific sizing problems during this installation. The most common concern here is ducts that are too large for the space and the air conditioner or furnace in question – the first signs you’ll likely notice here are strange noises due to blocked or restricted airflow.
This airflow will also result in uneven temperatures, including in common areas of the home. The air that’s conditioned will be moving through too large a space, meaning it won’t be able to reach all of your vents properly. In fact, research has shown that improper duct sizing often leads to over a 50% loss in cooling during the summer (and similar heat losses during winter). Not only will this lead to discomfort in the home, it will also up your energy bill and also strain your HVAC components.
Duct Damage Concerns
In other cases, ducts may form issues based on damage or natural wear-and-tear over time. Some common types here include:
- Leaking ducts: Whether caused by a specific impact or ducts that have worn down, leaks – even small ones – will cause significant amounts of air to escape from the ducts and be wasted. This lowers your system’s efficiency and strains the components as they try to work harder to make up for the lost air.
- Duct clogs: If your ducts are not cleaned regularly, they may accumulate buildups of things like dust, debris and even bacteria. If these are allowed to build up enough, they will restrict air flow.
- Duct pinches: This issue can be caused by damage concerns or may also come about due to poor installation. It refers to pinched sections or improper turns in the ducts, which can also be caused by a collapse in a certain area. Think of this situation like a hose that’s been pinched – just like no water will come out, air flow will be heavily restricted.
For more on issues with your air ducts, or to learn about any of our plumbing or HVAC services, speak to the staff at Action Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric today.