When we conduct residential air duct maintenance we do more than simply blow the dust out of your ductwork. We also inspect every joint and every connector in every duct to make sure nothing has come loose. You might think that we’re being overly cautious. After all, how could ducts possibly come loose? We’ll answer that question and look at the problems caused by leaky ductwork below.
6 Problems Created by Leaky Ducts
Ductwork is galvanized metal that is constantly being heated and cooled. As it warms it expands and as it cools it contracts. All this expansion and contraction weakens and yes, loosens, the connectors, flanges and various clamps that hold the ducts together. As a result, tiny leaks appear which if not corrected grow over time into major leaks that can then turn into major problems. Here are six of those potential problems:
- Higher Energy Bills - Heating and cooling the air in your home uses energy. The more heating and cooling you have to do the more energy you use. When your ductworks leak, expensive heated and cooled air is removed from circulation and the HVAC system has to work harder and consume more energy to achieve the desired temperature. You may not notice the increase in your energy bills because it happens gradually. But in time you could end up paying five or ten percent more than you have to just because your ductwork is leaking. Regular residential air duct maintenance can spot small problems before they grow into big expensive ones.
- Greater Likelihood of Breakdowns - When your air ducts leak your entire HVAC system is put under increased strain. Every aspect of the system has to work harder in order to compensate for the air that is leaking out into the atmosphere. The extra strain on the system typically leads to breakdowns and emergency repair calls. Often at the worst possible times, such as during record cold snaps or heat waves. A system that is put under continual stress also won’t last as long as it should. So when it comes to leaky ducts you can add the cost of premature replacement to the cost of higher energy bills.
- Air Quality Problems - As the area’s premier residential air duct maintenance company we see all kinds of problems associated with dirty air ducts. One of the most common but vexing is that dirty air ducts often lead to serious air quality problems. And that in turn can lead to allergies, asthma and all manner of respiratory illnesses. This is not hyperbole. This is scientific fact. Fully 1/4 of all known allergies have been tied to dust mites living in residential and commercial HVAC systems. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Regular residential air duct maintenance from Steve’s Carpet can rid your ductwork of dust mites and go a long way toward alleviating allergies, asthma and more.
- Clogged Air Filters - When air ducts leak they not only allow hot and cool air to escape and raise your energy bills, they also allow dirty air from inside the walls to infiltrate the ductwork and clog up the air filter. The air filter is designed to only handle the air inside the system. By adding dirty outside air to that system it puts an extra burden on the filter and causes it to need replacing more often. If the clogged filter is not replaced the HVAC system will have to work harder to push air through the clog and the air that does make it through will be contaminated with all types of dirt, dust, allergens and other debris it picked up while moving through the dirty filter. Residents, guests and pets in the house will then breathe in this contaminated air and the result will be more of the allergies, asthma and respiratory problems we outlined above.
- Hot and Cold Spots in the Home - If you move from one room in the house to another and it suddenly feel as though you walked into an ice box it may be a sign that your ducts are leaky. A loose, leaky joint in the ducts leading to the cold room may be siphoning heat air off into space leaving one room warm and another room cold. That cold room will then suck heat out of adjoining rooms which will create further temperature anomalies. So much so that on one floor you might have a room that’s toasty warm, a couple that are chilly and another that is downright cold. All because there’s a leak in the ductwork leading to the cold room. Regular residential air duct maintenance can stave off problems like this and ensure that your home is as energy efficient as possible.
- Negative Pressure - Leaky air ducts can create a phenomenon called “negative pressure”. Negative pressure occurs when outside air is sucked into the house as we described in issue #4 above. That negative pressure can then cause back drafting. Back drafting occurs when an appliance like the dryer vents CO2 and other gases into the atmosphere around the home and those gases are then sucked back into the house because of the leaky ductwork. Such gases can cause serious health problems.
Residential air duct maintenance is serious business and ignoring it can have serious consequences. Don’t wait until family members get sick or your energy bills go through the roof. Talk to the pros at Steve’s Carpet Care for more information.