Well-designed and properly sealed air ducts are a critical part of ensuring that your HVAC system operates efficiently. Air ducts are responsible for the distribution of heated or cooled air so that you can maintain your desired temperature. If your ducts leak due to improper installation or damage, your HVAC system won’t be as efficient, and you’ll spend more money to heat or cool your space. It can also diminish your indoor air quality, which can be harmful to your health.
If you are experiencing problems with your HVAC system, the culprit may be your air ducts. To request an assessment in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, call 1st Class Heat & Air, Inc now at (972) 846-8819 or contact us online.
How to Tell if Your Air Ducts are Leaking
1. Uneven Air Flow
Air ducts are designed to evenly circulate heated or cooled air throughout your space. If your indoor air feels stuffy and you’re not feeling air coming from a vent, or there is only a very weak flow of air, that’s a sign that your air ducts need attention.
2. Strange Noises
All HVAC systems make some noise when they operate, but if you notice anything strange like an echoing sound, rattling, or a loud metallic buzz, you should call an HVAC technician to troubleshoot the issue.
3. Poor Temperature Control
If your HVAC system is running but your space still isn’t your desired temperature, that could indicate that warm or cool air is leaking from your ducts before it even reaches your vents. Leaks in your ducts can increase your energy bill because the treated air is being wasted.
4. Spike in Energy Bills
If your electricity bill is increasing rapidly without any apparent cause, your air ducts may be to blame. As mentioned above, your HVAC system will have to work harder and run longer to supply you with the warmed or cooled air you need, but if your air ducts are leaking, a lot of that energy will just end up being wasted.
5. Signs of Rodents & Insects
Air ducts are a haven for pests like rodents, who are capable of gnawing their way through damaged ducts. This is a big problem because any hair or droppings they leave in the air duct will eventually get circulated into the air you breathe, where they can pose a real threat to your health. If a rodent should die in your ducts, you’ll also be faced with the unpleasant task of removing it before it begins to decay, attract flies, and smell pretty terrible. Any evidence of pest intrusion should be dealt with immediately; an HVAC contractor can help you.
6. Debris Around Vents
Have you noticed a lot of dirt and debris around your vents? Does your home seem dustier than normal? Your air ducts may be dirty and in need of cleaning and/or repair. Don’t wait too long to address this issue, as poor indoor air quality caused by dirty ducts can cause or exacerbate respiratory problems and other health issues.
Especially in humid parts of the country, mold growth is a common yet still serious concern for HVAC systems. Air ducts that have fallen into disrepair may foster the proliferation of mold, the spores of which can end up circulating throughout your indoor air. Be on the lookout for unpleasant symptoms of mold exposure like headaches, asthma, itching of the eyes and throat, and other general signs of illness.
8. Dirty Air Filters
Air filters are easy to forget about, but they are an extremely important part of your HVAC system. Neglecting to change your filter regularly means your HVAC system will have to work harder to heat and cool your home, costing you more money and leading to more wear and tear on your system. It also means that more dust and debris can enter your air ducts where it will be spread throughout your indoor air. Keep an eye on your return air grills; if they look like they are coated with a thick layer of dirt, you’re long overdue to have your filter changed!
What to Do About Air Duct Leakage
At the end of the day, the only way to really know if your air ducts are leaking is to call in an HVAC professional to perform an inspection. With so much potential for wasted energy, wasted money, and increased indoor air pollution, there’s no reason to put it off. Properly maintaining your air ducts is a necessary investment to ensure that you get the most from your HVAC system.
For fast, reliable AC & heating repair, service, installation, or sales, contact the professionals at 1st Class Heat & Air. We offer after-hours AC repair and can provide help for AC compressor failure seven days per week. Call us today at 972-846-8819.