3 Telltale Signs of Damaged Air Ducts
In many ways, air ducts are the unsung heroes in any home with central air conditioning or heating. They’re tucked away, out of sight and out of mind – yet they deliver air throughout the entire house. And although they may not seem to do much other than sit there and facilitate airflow, a home’s air ducts can develop all sorts of issues over time – air leaks, obstructions, mold growth, etc.
Since they’re tucked away in hard-to-reach places, it’s not always easy to tell when the air ducts are damaged or otherwise hampered. So this article will explain a few of the most common signs that the home’s ductwork needs to be repaired.
Unusual Sounds or Smells
While it may be difficult to see evidence of damaged ductwork, it’s often possible to hear it or even smell it. Strange sounds such as rattling or knocking could indicate that sections of ductwork have come loose, causing them to vibrate against one another (or against parts of the house) when the system is running. This sometimes happens at joints or seams where sections of ducts meet. Whistling or whooshing noises may be caused by air escaping from the ducts through a leak.
Strange odors from the air vents can also point to damaged or contaminated ducts. Smells from uninsulated spaces such as crawlspaces or attics, where ducts are often installed, may indicate a leak. Mold or mildew smells may indicate mold or bacteria growing inside the ducts themselves, which is most common in humid areas. Mold contamination can negatively affect the health of everyone in the home, so it’s crucial to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.
Another sign that ductwork repair might be necessary is weak or uneven airflow in the house. If very little air is coming from some of the vents, or if some rooms seem to get cool while others remain warm and stuffy, there could be an issue with the ductwork, such as an air leak or blockage.
A leak in part of the ductwork could release air into the attic, reducing the air pressure necessary to deliver air to every register. A crushed section of flexible ductwork could be restricting airflow. Debris may have accumulated and obstructed a section of ductwork, hindering airflow. Regardless of the cause, poor airflow can make the house less comfortable and limit the HVAC system’s overall performance.
Higher Energy Bills
Even if there are no obvious airflow issues or noticeable reductions in cooling and heating performance, damaged air ducts can still cause a loss in the HVAC system’s energy efficiency – particularly in the case of leaks. Suppose air is escaping into uninsulated sections of the house through leaks in the ductwork. In that case, the unit must run longer and work harder to bring the home to the correct temperature, driving up the monthly utility bills.
Homeowners would do well to monitor their monthly energy bills and look for any unexpected increases. If usage seems to be up even though homeowners haven’t changed anything, leaky air ducts may be to blame. Of course, it’s always a good idea to consult a reputable local HVAC company to perform a thorough inspection when in doubt!
About Jerry’s Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning
Jerry’s Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning is a family-owned and operated company serving Santa Maria, CA, and the surrounding areas since 1993. They provide same-day service, reasonable rates, and on-time service. Call them today for air duct repairs and replacement in Santa Maria, CA.