When it comes to AC maintenance, air ducts are often ignored despite their critical role. Without them, the system wouldn’t circulate air in your home correctly. With up to 25% of the air in the HVAC ductwork getting lost due to poorly fitted ducts and leakages, routine inspection and maintenance of air ducts is a necessary service. While engaging air conditioning services for professional air duct cleaning keeps the system operational, the ducts may be so worn out that replacement could be the only solution. Ductwork that’s twenty or more years old often exhibits certain problems that can only be solved by upgrading the system. Here are some signs:
Poor Flow of Air
Good airflow is a critical aspect of an optimally-functioning HVAC system and the ductwork plays a vital role in this process. If you just had a new air conditioning system installed but using the same ductwork system, chances are the system may not work correctly. While technicians offering air conditioning services may make the right adjustments, the air duct system may still have a poor flow of air. Such scenarios call for an upgrade of the duct system to ensure it matches with the new air conditioner requirements.
Routine visual inspection of the ductwork helps identify most problems from the onset. Sadly many homeowners perform DIY inspections which may not help identify serious ductwork problems like kinked or tangled ductwork. Research shows that only 42 percent of homeowners engage professionals for routine maintenance of their ac systems. Such ac systems are likely to last 40 percent longer than their counterparts. AC systems that use flexible ducts particularly need routine professional ac inspection as they are prone to ripping. Only ac service technicians can identify such problems with accuracy.
High Energy Bills
It’s natural for some air to escape through the duct system, but when it’s 20% of air, it’s likely to get reflected on your energy bill. With more air escaping through the HVAC system, you need to turn the thermostat to extremely high temperatures to heat your home. If you don’t have lots of appliances in your home, a spike in energy bills may be a result of leakage in the ductwork. Air conditioning services technicians may repair the problem or recommend a replacement of the air ducts.
Hot or Cold Spots
Poor airflow often causes the duct system to develop hot and cold spots but if it’s a recurring problem, it’s a sign of a bigger problem of the ductwork. The system may be leaking, improperly sized, or obstructed. Having a technician from ac repair St. Augustine Fl inspect the system helps determine the specific problem and if you need to replace the system.
Odor and Mold
Several air duct problems lead to the development of mold and mildew. The most obvious is having poorly insulated ducts and uneven temperatures in and out of the HVAC ductwork. As warm air travels through the cold ducts for several months or weeks, mold may develop causing a foul smell in your house. Regular duct cleaning rids of the foul smell but if it is consistent, a full duct replacement may be the only solution.
Having the ductwork installed without the help of an air conditioning service professional can cause problems after a period of time. Like an air conditioner, the ductwork should match the heating needs of a home. A home using undersized ductwork is likely to experience reduced airflow, high energy bills, reduced efficiency, and an extremely short lifespan. Duct sizing is a function of multiple factors including airflow velocity, the size of a property, static pressure of the HVAC system, and friction loss. Enlisting the help of air conditioning services helps identify the right size of the ductwork for your HVAC system based on such factors.
HVAC systems make noise during operation but if the noise is too loud, it may indicate a problem in the ductwork. The noise may start suddenly if there’s immediate damage to the system or gradually. Generally, most systems develop rattling, whistling, and shaky sounds indicative of different problems. If the problems are not addressed promptly, you may need to hire an ac installation company to replace the ductwork entirely.
If your HVAC system displays any of these issues, contacting a professional for air conditioning services will probably be the best course forward for you. Air conditioning professionals will be able to make repairs when possible and will replace your system if the problem is unfixable.