When was the ductwork in your home installed? Perhaps an even better question is when was the last time that ductwork was inspected?
You may not know when the ductwork was installed, and it can be just as hard to say when the ductwork was last inspected. In fact, it is fairly common for owners of residential and commercial properties to not give their ductwork a second thought.
It’s an unfortunate oversight because poorly fitting ducts can be responsible for the loss of one-quarter of the air in your HVAC system.
Does that sound alarming to you? It should because that 25-percent loss means that you’re paying for air that doesn’t benefit your home in any way.
Are you ready to stop wasting hundreds of dollars every year on energy bills? If so, then it’s time to learn more about ductwork and how to identify if your existing ductwork needs to be replaced.
If you still have questions when you get to the end of this article, just get in touch with Delaware Heating and Air. Let our friendly, helpful and informative professionals assist you to determine whether you need some upgrades to your ductwork or require an entire air duct replacement.
What Makes Ductwork so Critical?
It’s not unusual for people to overlook ducts when they are considering adding or updating an HVAC system. This is an unfortunate error because it is the ducts that are designed to pull air from the rooms or sections of the house so that it can be appropriately cooled or heated. The ducts then must send the cooled or heated air back into the house.
When the ductwork has holes and leaks or is not connected properly, then considerable air pressure is lost. Accordingly, the entire heating and cooling system must work overtime to try to achieve the thermostat setting. These longer work periods mean serious increases to your energy bill.
Most ductwork is designed to be in place for between ten and 15 years. Made of a combination of plastic and fiberglass, these ducts definitely are not meant to last forever.
Moreover, ducts are subject to occasional damage. The sooner that damage is identified and corrected, the better it is for you in terms of money saved. Not only will your energy bills be more reasonable but also the costs to repair a small amount of damage are much more attractive than the expense of fixing major damage.
You and your family actually may notice it when ducts get damaged. The level of comfort in your home will drop a considerable amount, giving you unexpected hot or cold spots where you don’t want them to be.
It further is possible for a damaged duct to send toxic air through the vents and into the air that your family inhales. That’s because damaged ducts and mold and mildew issues frequently go together. It’s just one more reason why having Delaware Heating and Air inspect and maintain your HVAC system is such a good idea.
Do Your Air Ducts Need to Be Replaced?
The good news is that your HVAC system will provide you with several signs that your air ducts are ready for replacement. Some of these signs include:
- Excessive noise
- Increased energy bills
- Uneven or unpredictable heating and cooling
- Excessive dust indoors and out
- Odors of mold and mildew indoors
- Pest control problems
Some people even begin to experience respiratory ailments that cannot be otherwise explained. It’s additionally possible to find debris around the vents in your home.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these signs so that you will be prepared to identify them.
All HVAC systems make some noise, but if you feel like the sounds associated with your system are becoming annoying, then it’s probably time to take action. Rattling or vibratory sounds typically are bad news as is unexplained whistling. Usually, these sounds indicate that the fiberglass or plastic joints that connect the ducts have become damaged or that there are holes in the ductwork.
If your HVAC system has recently started making a lot more noise, don’t ignore it. Call Delaware Heating and Air to schedule an appointment today.
Increased Energy Bills
A little bit of air escaping from ducts is normal and expected, but when you start losing 20 percent or more of the air, then this will make a difference in your energy bills.
There is a clear cause and effect at work. You set the thermostat at a certain comfortable temperature. The indoor temperature gets close to the pre-set on the thermostat, but it doesn’t quite reach it. That’s probably because too much air is escaping. This causes the HVAC system to operate with considerable inefficiency.
Because it’s operating in a less efficient manner, your HVAC system starts costing you more money. If you see your energy bills going up and you can’t account for the change such as having added a bunch of new electronics to your house, then faulty ductwork is the likely culprit.
Uneven or Unpredictable Heating and Cooling
Are there any rooms in your home that seem to stubbornly refuse to heat up or cool down like the rest of the house? The problem once again may be the ductwork. That’s because problems with the ducts will cause an inadequate supply of air to certain sections of your home.
You can test this by taking a handheld indoor thermometer throughout your house. Measure the temperature in each room. If one of the rooms is significantly off when compared with the temperatures in the other rooms, then it’s time to have your ducts inspected. A duct with a huge leak is the likely cause of the discrepancy.
Excessive Dust Indoors and Out
Dust is everywhere, and it always comes back regardless of how dedicated you are to getting rid of it. Nonetheless, if you are noticing an excessive amount of dust, then something beyond the ordinary may be going on.
Holes and leaks in ductwork allow outdoor dust to come inside your house. Have you noticed that your home just seems dustier than it used to be? It may be that problems with ductwork are making it harder to keep your house clean.
In addition to finding more dust on various surfaces inside the home, you and members of your family may be sneezing more frequently than they used to. This means that you are all inhaling allergens and irritants, and this could lead to more serious health complications.
Ask Delaware Heating and Air to check your ductwork today to ensure the health of your family.
Odors of Mold and Mildew Indoors
Ducts that are poorly insulated and improperly connected also can contribute to mold and mildew issues. This is brought about by the uneven temperatures occurring in and around the ductwork.
When warm air is pushed through ducts that are cold, it causes condensation. As time passes, mold and mildew develop. The smell of these toxins can get pushed into your home’s interior where you can sense it.
Not only do mold and mildew have a detrimental effect on your household furnishings but also they are harmful to your health. If you smell mold, the time to take action is now.
Pest Control Problems
Insects, arachnids, and rodents are always looking for ways to get into your home. Faulty ductwork makes it far too easy for pests to come inside to set up a colony or look for food. When pests invade, it can make your family vulnerable to strange noises emanating from behind walls, unpleasant odors, the transmission of bacteria and viruses as well as the need for costly repairs.
Pests further can worsen the damage to your ducts and the rest of your HVAC system. Call a pest control professional to manage the invaders, but rely on Delaware Heating and Air to ensure that your HVAC system is operating in tip-top condition.
How Can You Fix Ductwork?
You can take steps to fix your ductwork. These may include:
- Cleaning the ducts
- Re-sealing the ducts
- Insulating the ducts
- Having the ducts inspected by a professional
Granted, most people don’t want to be responsible for inspecting, cleaning, and maintaining the ductwork in their homes. Whenever you suspect that your ducts aren’t working the way they are supposed to, just call Delaware Heating and Air.
Get in touch with us today to schedule an appointment to have your ducts inspected.