Out of sight, out of mind? When it comes to ductwork, that attitude can cause lots of problems! The ducts that send air through your house may not be visible to the naked eye, but they have a powerful effect on home health and comfort. If there is any problem with your ducts, you’ll feel it immediately in more ways than one. Yet many homeowners don’t associate the negative effects of these problems with the ductwork itself, making it harder for them to respond. The following tips will help you find and fix all ductwork issues, keeping your house healthy and comfy for the long haul:
- Identifying the Signs
By circulating air through your home, ductwork keeps it fresh while controlling the temperature. This means that any problem with your ducts is likely to manifest itself through:
- High Energy Bills– If ducts are broken or clogged, they won’t be able to distribute air as efficiently to or from your heater or air conditioning system. They’ll also need more energy just to circulate the air at all. As a result, your energy bills will go up, even if you don’t change any of your current habits.
- Inconsistent Temperatures– Not only does broken ductwork need more energy to heat or cool your home, but even with this extra energy, it won’t be able to control the climate as consistently. This is especially likely if some of your ducts are blocked, as this prevents heated or cooled air from making it into the rooms where those ducts lead. Thus if you notice that some rooms in your house, or even particular parts of one room, are warmer or cooler than the rest of the building, ductwork problems are likely to blame.
- Annoying Noises– When your ducts expand or contract, they tend to make noises. This is normal immediately after you’ve turned the air on or off, but if it continues, it suggests something is wrong with the ducts.
Besides these factors, you should also pay attention to the air quality in your home. If you find that your allergies are getting triggered more often or that you’re having trouble breathing, there is a good chance your ducts aren’t circulating the air.
- Locating Problem Areas
Once you know that something is wrong with your ducts, the next step is to locate the specific source of the problem. Begin by finding out which room or rooms are suffering most seriously from inconsistent temperatures, noise, or low air quality. Then put your hand over every duct that leads into the room, feeling the air as it comes through. If no air is moving through a duct, or it is flowing at a much lower rate than it’s going through the others, this is likely where the problem is. You can also look at any parts of the duct that are visible, identifying cracks, dents, gaps, or other signs of damage.
- Fixing the Ducts
For minor duct leaks, it’s often possible to make repairs on your own. Begin by taking a damp cloth and cleaning the air where the leak is located. Then make sure all of the screws holding the duct together are in their proper place and tight, before using putty and HVAC-grade foil to seal up the leak. This should fix the issue and get your air system working again. But if problems persist, or you notice cracks running through large parts of the ductwork, you may need repairs from a professional.
Snyder Heating & Air Conditioning offers the resources and expertise to address every manner of duct or HVAC problem. For more information, visit our website today.