Most of the focus when it comes to maintaining your HVAC system is on the major visible components such as your furnace or air conditioner. However, it’s important to not neglect the ductwork in your home, which often goes unseen while doing its essential work.
While ducts are usually made to last for a long period of time, they still degrade over time. And they may not even last very long if the contractor who built your home cut corners on materials and labor. Your ductwork delivers air to and from your forced-air HVAC equipment, and as the ducts age, the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems can decline significantly.
Aged and defective ducts will result in worse air quality and higher utility costs, and can have a large effect on the consistency of heating and cooling in your home.
To determine the condition of your home’s ducts and whether they need to be repaired or replaced, consider the following issues:
- Age. Consider the age of the ductwork. As mentioned, the original ducts installed in residential homes sometimes are made of cheap materials and need to be replaced around the 10-year mark.
- Inspect. While most ductwork is out of sight, it should be visible in your attic, basement and/or crawl space. Specifically, look at the joints connecting different sections of the ductwork and see if there are any leaks or significant dust buildup. If a duct is hanging without any suspension wires or brackets, this is another bad sign.
- Airflow. If you have leaky ducts, you may be able to tell by examining airflow in different rooms. Look for both volume and temperature differences between rooms. If you see any major differences, it’s likely you have duct issues.
- Test. An HVAC contractor can conduct a duct blower test if you suspect a problem. It will allow the contractor to evaluate the amount of air that is being leaked from your ductwork, as well as the total airflow through your system.
If you need help checking, repairing or replacing the ductwork in your northwest Arkansas home, don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Springdale, Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about ducts and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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