The ducts for an air conditioning system are crucial to the performance of the unit and the comfort ability of its users. Ducts are responsible for moving and distributing air throughout the home. If the ducts become damaged this can throw off temperatures and result in higher utility bills because the unit has to work harder. A study done by EnergyStar.gov showed that 80% of the air that passes through a duct makes it to the area that they are servicing. The other 20% is lost through holes in the duct, leaks or ducts that were not installed properly.
Here are some things to look for before replacing the duct system in your home:
One thing to consider when thinking about replacing a home’s air duct system is the age of the ducts since they were installed. Typical ductwork serves you between 10 and 15 years before they have major issues with them. Old ductwork can have rips or tears in them that can invite in dusts, pests and other allergens. Old ductwork could even collapse, blocking the airflow to the area it serves and making the home less comfortable. Newer ducts will help to make your home more comfortable and improve the overall air quality.
Higher Utility Costs
If have been noticing higher utility bills over the last few months, the ductwork could be factor. Tears in the ducts can leak the conditioned air, which is wasting energy. HVAC pros can run a blower test to find problems like these within the ductwork. A blower test is when a blower fan is used to pressurize the ducts then sensors calculate how much air is being lost. If they find a leak, consider replacing the ductwork to save money in the long run.
Incorrectly Sized Ductwork
The sizing of the ductwork compared to the amount of air that the air conditioning unit pushes out is important. Undersized ducts will create clanking, metal rubbing or rustling sounds. Oversized ducts will not have enough static pressure to efficiently cool or heat the home. If the duct work makes noise take note if the noise is from one section of duct or all over the home. An experienced HVAC technician would be able to help you determine the sizing of the duct.
Room Temperatures are Inconsistent
If have been noticing that one room is comfortable, and another is not, that may mean that the ductwork needs replacing. A fully properly functioning HVAC unit is designed to distribute temperatures evenly throughout the home. Any temperature differentials or sharp changes from one room to the other can be caused by bad ductwork and may need to be replaced by a professional.