Is your ductwork beginning to show its age? That often happens much sooner than homeowners expect, since price often takes priority over quality in builders’ minds when it comes to air ducts. Since a deteriorating air duct system can reduce your home’s energy efficiency, it will increase your energy bills, and can cost you in terms of home comfort and indoor air quality as well. So how do you know whether your ductwork needs replacement?
- Check its age – If it’s been a decade or so since your air duct system was installed, it’s time to take a look at its condition. Ductwork, depending upon the quality of the materials used at installation, can become troublesome after as little as 10 years of use.
- Inspect exposed ducts – Look over air ducts in accessible areas, typically found in the attic, basement or crawlspace. Look for joints that have deteriorating duct tape, have become disconnected, or show signs of rust or corrosion. Streaks of dust near joints can mean trouble as well, indicating air leaks, and crumbling insulation signals that heat loss is a problem.
- Check your airflow – If vents in some rooms have less air output than others, ducts serving those rooms may have collapsed, or could be partially or fully blocked or disconnected. If the temperature of the air coming from vents is significantly different from one room to another, chances are you have air leaks in your ducts or areas where insulation has deteriorated.
If you find signs of trouble, your next step is to call your HVAC contractor to perform a duct blower test, the best means of evaluating the condition of your ductwork. This test uses a blower fan to pressurize the air ducts and sensors to measure airflow, allowing your HVAC technician to determine whether air leaks and heat loss are a problem in your system.
For more information on how to determine if your ductwork needs replacement or any other home comfort concerns, please contact us at Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning. We’ve been serving the greater Fresno area for nearly 40 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Fresno, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about ductwork and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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