How to Determine If Your Home’s Duct Work Needs Replacing
Your home’s ductwork is one of the most important of your overall HVAC system. After all, it is the ducts themselves that are responsible for funneling all of that warm or cold air throughout your house. The problem is that, over time, your ducts will eventually start to deteriorate or get damaged. When this happens, the result is air leaks that can drastically reduce the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems, which then leads to an unnecessary increase in your energy bills. Although many of these air leaks can be fixed, eventually there comes a time when all homes will need to have their ductwork replaced. With this in mind, here is a handy guide that should help you to better know when it’s time to have your ducts replaced.
Duct Work Repair or Replacement
Ductwork air leaks are such a common occurrence that the U.S. Environment Protection Agency estimates that in the average American home approximately 20% to 25% of heated and cooled air is lost due to leaks. Essentially, this means that the average homeowner may be able to reduce their heating and cooling costs by as much as a fourth simply by making sure that their ductwork no longer leaks. For this reason, it is important to pay close attention to your energy bills and immediately contact an HVAC professional if you notice any sudden spikes in your heating and cooling costs.
However, it is virtually impossible for the untrained individual to determine whether or not their ductwork is leaking let alone find out where the leaks are and fix them. For this reason, it may be well worth it to contact an HVAC professional and have your system inspected since this is really the only way to determine whether your ductwork is leaking and whether it can be repaired or needs to be fully replaced. That being said, there are still some factors that can help to indicate when it is time to replace your ductwork.
How the Age of Your Duct Work Affects Your HVAC System
Before getting into the potential signs that you need to replace your ductwork, it is first worth noting that all HVAC components only have a limited life span. Ductwork typically lasts for a maximum of 20 to 25 years. However, most experts recommend that you have it replaced every 15 years or so. After this time, the ducts tend to start to deteriorate, which can lead to leaks and dramatically decrease the overall efficiency of your HVAC system. Nonetheless, age isn’t the only factor in determining when it’s time to replace your ducts, which means you’ll also want to be on the lookout for any of the following signs.
Inconsistent Heating and Cooling
If you suddenly find that your HVAC system has problems keeping every room in your house at the same consistent temperature, this could be a sign that your ductwork needs replacing. When some rooms in your home are warmer or cooler than others, it usually indicates that at least some of the ductwork is faulty or leaking. In some cases, an HVAC technician may be able to simply patch up the leaks, whereas other times it may be more prudent to replace some or all of the ducts.
Excessive HVAC Noise
Your HVAC system will always make some noise. However, excessive noise may indicate that your ducts need to be repaired or replaced. This is especially true if you hear rattling, vibrating or whistling sounds coming from the ductwork as this is usually a sign of leaks or damaged ductwork joints.
Mold or Other Strange Odors
Smelling mold, mildew or other odors coming from your vents is another sign that your ductwork needs to be replaced. In most cases, the culprit is poorly insulated or poorly connected ductwork, which allows condensation to build up inside the ducts and thus leads to mold growth. In this case, it is imperative that you contact and HVAC professional immediately as mold can be hazardous to your health.
Excessive Dust Coming Out of Your Vents
You may also want to have your ductwork inspected if you notice your home is becoming increasingly dusty. Air leaks, poor connections and faulty ductwork can all allow dirt and dust to get inside your ducts, and this is then spread throughout the home whenever your HVAC system runs.
Professional HVAC Inspection, Maintenance and Services
Keeping your home at the ideal temperature is hugely important for both your health and comfort and making sure your ductwork is functioning properly can hold the key to this. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to contact a reputable HVAC company if you notice any of the signs listed above. With more than 60 years of experience serving Belleville and the surrounding areas, BELOMAN can assist you with HVAC inspections, maintenance, services and more, so don’t hesitate to contact us today.