Your HVAC system’s ducts function like the human lungs. That is, they pull in dirty, moist, and warm air from the rooms in your house, clean it up, and release some fresh and cold air. Indeed, it is a cycle that ensures your residence maintains the temperature and humidity as per your settings on the HVAC system.
But, like any other equipment with a limited lifespan, the ductwork can fail. Being able to pick up on the signs as soon as it happens can save you lots of repair charges. Many homeowners do not even want to think of the possibility of a full replacement when your HVAC system fails beyond repair. It is good to be aware of these eight warning signs and get prompt professional assistance when you notice one of them.
1. Bangs, Pops, or Boom Noises
All HVAC systems make a characteristic faint sound when running. By now, you should know how your air conditioner and heating system sound when operating optimally. Whenever you notice a change of these sounds, plan to investigate.
Typical noises due to a ductwork malfunction are in the form of popping, banging, or booming sounds. You will notice the sounds immediately when you switch on the HVAC system. The noises occur when the duct’s inner metal membrane expands suddenly due to changing pressure from the incoming air.
Further, you will notice the racket shortly after the duct cleaning service that gets rid of the dirt and debris buildup. Other reasons include damage to the fiberglass or plastic joints and holes along the duct tubing.
2. Skyrocketing Energy Bills
A faulty duct will work harder to cool, warm, clean, and circulate the air around your house. When there are holes on the conduits, the HVAC system becomes inefficient as more air escapes along the unit. When this inefficiency exceeds the 20% threshold, your thermostat will be consuming more power, trying to maintain the same level of performance as before. At this point, you will notice a sudden increase in your power bills.
One easy way to attribute the power bills to your faulty HVAC system is by reviewing your current electrical appliances. If all of them are working as usual and have no additional equipment that takes up a lot of power, you need to call an HVAC technician to check out your air conditioner or heating system.
3. Failure to Self-Regulate
Do you often have to adjust the temperature settings on your self-regulating HVAC system? That is a big clue right there. Ideally, such air conditioning and heating systems will turn on or off whenever they attain the proper temperature and humidity setting. In contrast, when the ducts have a problem, you will notice the room to be too hot or cold.
Further, all places that use the same HVAC unit should have uniform temperature readings. But, if you move from one room to another and notice a change in temperature or humidity, do not ignore it. Instead, have a technician from Beyer Air Conditioning & Heating diagnose the problem.
4. Too Much Dirt or Dust in the Conduits
HVAC system installations in windy and dusty areas require more maintenance to keep up with the dirt and debris accumulating in the ducts. Damaged ductwork will not clean up the circulating air. Even in a calm room, you may notice the atmosphere is not pure. Instead of cleaning the air, the ducts pile up the dust and recirculate it to all of the rooms.
It can be a health hazard if you have pets or live with family members who struggle with allergies. The next time you notice your kids sneezing or dust on your furniture and upholstery, it is time to check your air conditioning and heating system.
5. Persistent Pest Infestation
When your HVAC’s ductwork has holes and crevices, it can turn into a breeding ground for termites, roaches, bedbugs, and other crawling insects.If the holes are more prominent, you could have rodents running around your house in no time.
Take termites, for example. They only need less than five years to form colonies large enough to destroy your entire house. Whereas your HVAC system can last up to 15 years, you may not notice such colonies growing all over your home.
Bedbugs and roaches can spread diseases to your family, and rodents will bring in ticks and other pests to your pets. Should you notice insect droppings, tracks, or molds, call in a pest control team right away. They will disinfect your house and get to the root cause of the attack. Afterward, you can call in an HVAC technician who will analyze the damage and make appropriate recommendations.
6. Mold and Mildew in AC Ducts
Your HVAC system has condenser coils that will suck moisture from the air into the drip pans and ducts. If these coils do not work, there will be a buildup of mold and mildew in no time. This buildup is not easy to spot unless it reaches extreme proportions. By this time, you may have to replace your AC unit.
Mold and mildew have a damp, stale, or rotten smell, so look out for any musty odors, especially when you switch off the air conditioner. Also, are there any visible clogging, patches, and spores? If so, it is an indication that fungi growth could be out of control. Most mold and mildew attract house pests, so check for eggs, droppings, or dead insects in the ducts.
7. Old or Tangled Ducts
Under normal circumstances, ducts can last between five and 15 years. How old is your HVAC system? Confirm that the unit is within its useful lifespan. Otherwise, you will spend more money on repairs and high utility bills.
When you have your HVAC system near heavy objects in your garage, attic, or basement, they can fall on to and alter the shape of the ducts. When this happens, the channels begin to tangle. Tangled ductwork is inefficient, leading to high energy bills.
8. Visible Debris in the Ducts
If you notice any debris on the walls of the ducts, call our technicians for immediate duct repairs. Such trash is, in fact, accumulation of dust, pet hair, insect, and dirt sticking on the walls in patches. It means it has been a while since your ducts were running well.
Now, unlike the other signs, visible debris causes a minimal threat to your AC unit. Still, you should address the issue before it gets out of hand.
Contact Our Experts
Do any of the above signs resonate with you? The expert team at Beyer Air Conditioning & Heating can help. We will assess your AC system to diagnose the root problem. Then, where duct repairs are inevitable, we can start by scheduling a duct cleaning and disinfection session.
Beyer Air Conditioning & Heating in San Antonio, TX, is a reliable family-owned heating and cooling company with more than 40 years of collective experience. We give our all to our customers and will work on a repair and maintenance schedule that does not interrupt your daily routine or damage any nearby property. Whether it’s heating or cooling services you need, call Beyer Air Conditioning & Heating today for your appointment.