During summers, staying cool is at the top of everybody’s agenda, and for that, one relies quite heavily on the home’s or office’s cooling system. Yet, there are times when you feel that the cooling is lacking and is not the same as before. But before you go blaming the air conditioner, it would be better to check the ducts. Many times, cooling suffers a setback due to leaking ducts. If that is the case, even buying a new AC will not give you or the other occupants of the building any respite.
What Are Air Ducts?
Air ducts are conduits or passageways hidden behind the walls or floor that deliver and remove the air from inside any given structure, such as houses, buildings, or office spaces. Air ducts are usually made of sheet metal and insulated with duct wrap.
Why Air Ducts Develop Leaks?
Air ducts are not very sturdy, neither are they extremely fragile. In order to maintain their flexibility and keep them light, the air ducts need careful handling. Sometimes, the ducts spring leaks because of cracks or holes developed due to corrosion, and other times, a lack of restraint while cleaning them may cause tearing. But these are not the only two reasons. If you live near the woods by now, you would have realized that rodents and critters find the ducts a perfect abode. These tiny pests also chew through the ducts and cause leaks.
How To Tell You Have Leaking Air Ducts?
Leaking air ducts are not very difficult to identify. The tricky part is identifying the spots of leaks. In either case, this is a task for the HVAC professionals. Only they are knowledgeable and experienced enough to pinpoint the exact cause of the leak and all the compromised parts of the ductwork. Here are some telltale signs of leaking air ducts:
1. High Energy Bills – Despite following the strict preventive maintenance regime, you find no respite in bringing down the energy bills; you may want to get your ducts inspected. Spiked energy bills are indicative of increased power consumption by your central heating and cooling system. It happens when your unit has to work longer than necessary and harder too. When there is the mixing of treated and untreated air, which happens when there are leaks in the ducts, the HVAC system has to work under extreme pressure. This strain leads to increased power consumption. Hence, despite maintenance, you don’t find any respite or dip in the power bills.
2. Uneven Cooling – When your home suffers from leaking air ducts, there is a distinct possibility of the existence of hot and cold areas in your home where none existed before. Those areas where the ducts are not damaged will be cool and welcoming, while the rooms where the ducts have sprung a leak feel hot and clammy, barely cool. When treated and untreated air mix together, the cold or treated air becomes warm and picks up more moisture. The room or rooms where this mixed air enters will be warmer than the rest of your building, and as a result, cooling is uneven throughout the structure.
3. Overheating Unit Or A Unit In Need Of Constant Repairs – As we mentioned in the first point, when there are leaks in the air duct, your heating and cooling system operates under tremendous strain. One of the results of such pressure is that the unit overheats and shuts down repeatedly, or its components tend to fail more often. In short, your machine will demand more and more repairs despite you being vigilant in its well-being and maintenance. If you notice a sudden increase in the frequency of repairs, it won’t harm to ask for a ductwork inspection.
4. Dusty Indoors – Yet another sign of leaking air ducts is a dirty house. No matter how well you dust and clean the surfaces, they appear equally, if not more, dirty within a few days. Yes, the problem could be dirty ductwork also. So, if you have not yet got the ducts cleaned, it might be a good time to do so now. Even after a duct cleaning, if there is no respite from the dust, the chances are pretty high that you are dealing with leaky ductwork.
5. Aged Ductwork – If you have lived in the same home for over 12 to 15 years and, to the best of your knowledge, the ductwork hasn’t been revamped in that time, don’t be too surprised to find holes and cracks in it. With age, the air ducts deteriorate, resulting in gaps that act as an outlet for treated air and inlet for untreated air. An inspection of the complete ductwork will give you a good idea of its condition. If need be, portions of it can be replaced to get rid of the damaged portions. Invariably the older your ductwork, the greater the chances of leaks. Therefore, keep up with its periodic inspection to keep the situation under control.
What To Do If You Think Your Ducts Are Leaking?
If you think that your air ducts are leaking, it would be wise to ask for a professional opinion. Ask your local HVAC contractor to inspect your ductwork and hear out what they have to say. It is not always necessary to change the damaged portions, but it may be a ber than plugging the cracks. Have faith in the technician’s knowledge and experience and do as they advise.
If you live in West Palm Beach, Florida, approach the elite team of air experts at Aztil Air Conditioning for heating and cooling system problems. We are a renowned HVAC contractor operating in the area since 1981. With a well-trained and certified team always at your service, you will be happy with our top-notch and yet affordable services. Our offices are open 24/7, so you can call us anytime to book an appointment. You can reach out to us at +1-888-729-8452. We are looking forward to taking care of all your HVAC woes. Call us now.