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Signs of Ductwork Problems: When Should You Consider Duct Repair or Replacement?

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Did you know that the frustrating problem you’re having with your air conditioner or heater might not be an issue with your actual cooling or heating equipment at all? Your system might be running fine, but your air ducts that carry the conditioned air throughout your home may have problems preventing them from doing their job. Duct problems are some of the easiest to overlook, and yet they’re also some of the most debilitating issues that your HVAC system can deal with. Even a small problem could waste a ton of money in lost energy, and the added wear and tear could result in premature HVAC system failure and replacement.

Do you have a duct problem? It’s important to keep an eye out for the signs. Here are a few common indicators that your air ducts may need professional service.

Weak Airflow

The first sign of an issue is a simple one: if your HVAC system seems to struggle with outputting consistent airflow throughout your home, then you likely have an air duct issue. This is particularly true if your system used to be able to produce appropriate airflow and now doesn’t seem to be able to do so anymore.

Weak airflow throughout your home is a sign of significant ductwork damage, particularly around some of your main air ducts that lead directly out of your HVAC system. Your ducts may have corroded over time, animals like rodents or other vermin may have chewed a hole in them, or an accident may have resulted in part of your air duct becoming crushed or obstructed. In any instance, it’s a good idea to have a professional come out and take a look at your air ducts. You may find that fixing this issue can make your HVAC system perform as though it were brand new again.

Inconsistent Airflow

Do you have one or two rooms that always seem to be extra warm during summer months or frigid cold during winter? There are plenty of reasons for this, and most of them point back to your air ducts feeding those rooms. Your ductwork may be inappropriately sized for the capacity needed to feed those spaces, resulting in inadequate airflow. Your ductwork may be damaged, resulting in a leak that prevents conditioned air from reaching these distant rooms. Your air duct network may just be poorly designed and not allow enough air to reach these spaces.

Whatever the case may be, if you have a few problem rooms that never seem to stay comfortable, reach out to a professional who can assess your ductwork and determine if it is capable of properly feeding conditioned air to these rooms. If you live in an older home with original or aging ductwork, then it isn’t all that uncommon for the ducts feeding these spaces to be inadequate, especially given the power of today’s HVAC systems.

Lack of Cold/Warm Air

You have air flowing through your vents, but it’s surprisingly warm during summer months or cold in winter? Why does it seem like you’re running your HVAC system for little to no comfort? If your HVAC system isn’t the problem, the issue is likely that one of your main air ducts is damaged. While the issue is close enough to your blower fan to maintain air pressure, heat is leaking out through this duct damage, resulting in cold or warm air from your attic taking its place.

Duct damage can vary widely. While some small problems are fairly easy to fix, others may require a complete replacement of your entire duct network—especially if you also have other problems in the system as well.

Sneezing, Coughing & Allergies

Have you noticed a dramatic decrease in your indoor air quality? While certain characteristics are seasonal changes (such as a major humidity drop during winter months), an increase in allergy symptoms like coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, or even asthma flare-ups is a sign that your air quality has diminished. Cleaning your home and changing your air filter is one way to help this, but by far the single most impactful thing you can do to improve your air quality is to have your air ducts professionally cleaned.

Over time, dust, dander, bacteria, mold, and plenty of other debris can build up in your air ducts. As air flows through these ducts, these particles can be scooped up again and blown throughout your home. This causes the problem to spread to virtually every single space, meaning those sensitive individuals don’t really have anywhere they can hide. And because air ducts are small spaces, few people possess the tools and experience to know how to properly clean them out.

On average, most homeowners should have their air ducts professionally cleaned every two years or so. If you own any pets, smoke indoors, or have any family members who are sensitive to air quality issues, then you should have your ducts cleaned annually.

Have a ductwork problem? Make the call to Village Home Services today! We offer a comprehensive slate of duct repairs, replacements, and more!

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