Most homeowners don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the ductwork that runs through their home unless something goes wrong. You don’t see ductwork, so it’s easy to forget about it but the fact is, your ducts are an essential part of your HVAC system and deserve equal attention. If you want to look at it another way they’re like the veins that run through the human body delivering blood to the heart, except ductwork delivers cold or warm air to your home.
So how do you know if your ductwork is healthy and functioning properly or if it’s time to consider replacing it? Here are 6 common signs to look for that may indicate it’s time for an air duct replacement.
Age of ducts: With proper care and maintenance air ducts can live a good long life. It is important to understand however that just like your HVAC unit, ductwork can start to deteriorate over time. If your ductwork is more than 10 years old there’s a pretty good chance it’s time to replace it. Air duct seals, joints, and seams all fail eventually, so schedule an inspection and consider replacement if repairs are needed.
Limited airflow: Your ductwork has everything to do with your system’s efficiency and the comfort level you experience in your living areas. Damaged, dirty, clogged, or old ductwork drastically reduces efficiency and comfort, and puts much undue strain on your entire system. If you notice that you’re A/C is struggling it may be time for ductwork replacement.
Not cooling properly: If you find that your system is not properly cooling your home and you have changed your filter, your ductwork may be the issue. Over time, leaks and holes form in the metal ductwork which then allows cool air to escape before it reaches your living area. Repairs can be costly and only temporary, so talk to a licensed HVAC about your options.
Dents: The ductwork in your home is typically out of sight from your regular living area but in many cases, it runs through spaces that homeowners use for storage such as basements and attics. Because of this, the ductwork can be dented when things are being moved around or placed in these areas. If you notice dents in the metal, contact a professional for an assessment. Dents can also mean punctures which will interfere with the effectiveness of your system.
Strange Noises: Many things can cause your ductwork to make odd sounds and it’s usually an indication that something is wrong. Have it evaluated immediately as you may need to replace it before it causes additional problems.
Improper installation: Poorly installed ductwork is the leading cause of residential energy loss. This usually happens when homeowners use budget contractors that perform sub-par work. This in turn, leads to poor efficiency, high energy usage, decreased performance, and ultimately the demise of your system. If you notice that your air conditioning or heat just doesn’t seem to work as it should – even if the unit is brand new, chances are the design and installation of the ductwork is the culprit.