Did you know that you can lose conditioned air due to poor duct connections, leaks and holes? Your duct is essential as it supplies warm or cool air to your home. Sadly, problems with your ductwork reduce its lifecycle and make your home uncomfortably cold or hot. These problems can also cost you extra electricity bills.
To avoid such problems, you need to replace your ductwork as soon as you notice it has developed some inefficiencies. But how do you know it’s time to replace your ductwork? Read on to find answers to this vital question.
1.Your HVAC Operates Unusually Noisily
Have you noticed some weird noises coming from your HVAC? While each HVAC system produces some noise as it works, you shouldn’t take for granted any unusual noise. If your HVAC suddenly produces some annoyingly loud noise, it may be time to replace your ductwork.
Similarly, if your HVAC produces some constant rattling noise or it vibrates excessively as it heats or cools your home, an inspection of your ductwork may reveal the problem. Since HVAC technicians connect your ducts using fiberglass or plastic joints, any damage on these ducts will result in some whistling and rattling sounds.
In the same way, if your ductwork develops some holes, it will produce extra loud noises as the air circulates through them. The earlier you fix this noise problem, the better. Otherwise, if you delay, your ducts will only develop more complications and fail you further.
2. You Have Higher Energy Bills
While it’s reasonable for some air to escape as it travels through your ducts, more than 20% of air escape is an alarming amount as it will manifest in higher than usual energy bills. Fortunately, you can tell that a lot of air is escaping if your house does not change temperature when you turn on the thermostat. Note that a duct problem causes your HVAC to work extra hard. This puts a strain on your system and increases your energy bills.
Other electronic devices can also increase your electricity bills. However, if you recently installed an HVAC system and are currently paying higher energy bills than you did when your HVAC was new, you must check your ductwork.
3. Sudden Imbalances in Heating and Cooling
Should you find out that one of your rooms is unevenly warm or cold compared to other rooms in the house, check your ducts. Faulty ductwork can be responsible as it can fail to send sufficient conditioned air to specific parts of your house. You can test these imbalances using an indoor thermometer.
If your results show a difference in the temperatures, proceed to check your ductwork immediately. You may find out that one duct has a huge leak. Consequently, the air that escapes doesn’t cool or warm a certain room in your home.
4. You Suddenly Have Too Much Dust Inside Your Home
It’s normal to have some amount of dust at home, both indoors and outdoors. However, if you suddenly find too much dust indoors, you may have a damaged duct. This happens because the leaks and holes in your ducts are allowing in dust from outdoors.
Your ducts then move this dust to the vents and ultimately disperse the air all over your house. If you’re constantly sneezing because of a dusty home, blame it on your problematic ductwork. Replace your ductwork as soon as possible to reduce chances of developing more allergies and respiratory complications.
5. Your Home Smells of Mildew and Mold
Poorly connected ducts can allow mildew and mold into your house. The reason being, your faulty ducts may have some holes or leaks. As a result, they unevenly warm and cool your home.
These faults also affect your HVAC system. For instance, when warm air passes through cold ducts, condensation occurs. After a while, mildew and mold grow. You’ll smell the mold in your house as ducts push this mildew-containing air into the home via vents.
Like dust, inhaling mildew and mold threatens your health. Besides, mold and mildew can damage your furniture. Therefore, inspect your ductwork any time you smell mildew or mold in the house.
6. You Have a Growing Number of Pests
Problematic ducts allow rodents and pests into your house. These rodents and pests enter your house through duct leaks and holes. Bugs and rodents can then establish colonies, and you’ll have a trouble-filled home.
Some pests release waste with unpleasant smells and spread disease-causing microbes and bacteria to you and your loved ones. You may also have trouble sleeping at night due to the movements of rodents. Shockingly, these rodents and bugs can also block your HVAC’s ducts, causing a bigger problem.
However, the good news is, you can prevent all these problems with regular maintenance of your HVAC and immediate replacement of faulty ductwork. Professional HVAC technicians can also help you get rid of all the pests in your ductwork.
7. You Find Debris Close to the Vents
The vents push cold and hot air inside your home as per your heating and cooling needs. Dirt can accumulate in these vents if they constantly receive very dirty air. This dust leaves some marks around your vents, and soon, you’ll notice some debris caused by the accumulation of lint, pet hair, dirt and tiny insects. This is proof enough that you need to replace your ducts urgently; otherwise, the damage could get work.
8. Your Ducts Are Tangled
Are your ducts kinkled or tangled? If so, they can cause HVAC operational inefficiencies and contribute to your already high electricity bills. Tree branches, rocks and any other heavy material can tangle your ducts if it falls on them.
When your ducts twist, your airflow becomes restricted. The impact of these hits can also cause holes and leaks in your ducts, further increasing your HVAC inefficiencies. You can easily spot tangled ducts in your basement area, the attics or your garage.
Should you find them, you must replace your ducts before you start having trouble with your indoor air quality.
9. Your Ducts Are Too Old
Duct manufacturers design them to work for roughly 10-12 years. Therefore, if your ducts have served you for the entire period manufacturers designed them to, you must replace them. Any further delays in replacing them could cause some or all of the above problems.
Furthermore, if your house uses asbestos insulators, your ducts are way too old. Therefore, you need to replace them as soon as possible. Newer versions of ducts are more versatile and have better insulators with safer materials.
While manufacturers of ducts design them with a lifespan of at least 10 years, ducts used beyond these recommended number of years can cause you lots of problems in the future. Your ductwork can also develop holes and leaks and can fail without warning. Going forward, you must check your HVAC for weird noises, imbalanced heating and cooling or poor indoor air quality.
If you live in San Antonio and its environs and you have any of these duct issues, call Beyer Air Conditioning & Heating for ductwork services. We also provide comprehensive heating, cooling and indoor air quality services.