You flip on your HVAC system and hear it go to work, but several hours of running and your home doesn’t feel any different. After holding your hand up to the nearest air vent, you are met with a horrible realization: no air is flowing through. Has something gone wrong with your HVAC system? Has it given out, mandating replacement?
Believe it or not, you may not actually be experiencing an issue with your HVAC system, but rather with the network of air ducts that carry the air around your home. Even a small problem with your ductwork could trigger all sorts of serious issues, including loads of wasted energy and extra money out of your pocket. In order to help you recognize when you may have an issue with your ductwork, here are four of the most common issues you might face and some of the symptoms for each of them.
When your duct system is too large or too small, the effectiveness of your entire HVAC system could be compromised. When your ducts are too small for the size of your system, your system will struggle to push air through the network, resulting in higher airflow speeds, wind currents in your home, and extra wear and tear on your HVAC system, which costs you plenty of extra money in the long run. Ducts that are too large can’t build up or sustain enough air pressure to effectively heat or cool your home.
This is generally only a problem that some people discover after replacing their HVAC system, and generally is one that doesn’t have a popular solution: either replace your ducts with ones that are the right size, or replace your HVAC system with one that’s better-suited to the ducts in your home.
Mold and mildew are the enemies of virtually any homeowner because they can cause some extremely unpleasant odors and even health problems. And to make matters worse, mold spores are present in the air all around us, and conditions that encourage mold growth can be found pretty easily, especially in air ducts that are constructed of organic material like wood or drywall and see a lot of moisture.
Getting rid of mold can be a hassle but the best way is to have your ducts cleaned professionally by a Sarasota HVAC professional. Professionals are equipped with the right tools to make the job much easier and can coat the inside of your ducts with an antimicrobial coating that prevents the mold from taking root and multiplying again.
Air leaks are perhaps the most common problem with any duct system. Microscopic cracks, tiny holes, or even just two segments of air duct not fitting together properly can create an air duct gap that conditioned air can escape from, reducing system effectiveness and causing your system to have to run for a lot of extra time in order to reach temperature goals. This uses more energy and likewise costs you more money.
Finding cracks and leaks in your air ducts is difficult, as some issues might be so small they’re nearly impossible to spot. However, a professional knows where to look for these issues and has the tools that can pick out the issue quickly and effectively, such as an infrared camera. Sealing the leaks can sometimes be as simple as repairing the crack but in more serious instances may require you to completely replace a segment of your ductwork to resolve the issue.
Whether it’s simple old age or perhaps a falling heavy object, a collapsed duct is perhaps the worst case scenario. Not only is this pretty much a complete and total blockage that prevents any air from reaching its intended target, but it requires substantial repairs to fix and get back to normal again. In fact, with indoor units often located in the attic of many homes, it’s not uncommon for a collapse to occur extremely close to the system itself, causing virtually no treated air to reach anywhere in the home.
The best way to avoid a collapse is to simply make sure you don’t store anything that could potentially fall over or cause damage to your ducts close to them. Keep a good three to four foot gap between your ducts and anything else, and avoid stacking as much as possible.