If you’re like the average homeowner, you probably don’t think much about the ducts that carry air back and forth from your HVAC system unless something is evidently wrong, like a rat’s nest inside. However, ducts are very important for the heating and cooling process, and if they are ignored for too long, then some serious problems can result. Let’s take a look at why this hidden part of the home is actually very important!
Why Your Ducts are So Important
When ducts grow old and develop problems, that affects the quality of airflow in your home, and this is a particularly serious issue. When hot and cold air can no longer properly flow through ducts, then your house isn’t being heated (or cooled) properly. However, your thermostat doesn’t know that, so it keeps on telling the HVAC system to do a job that’s not working. The result is HVAC units that are working far too hard and too long. Not only is that very expensive for your monthly energy bills, but it also leads to more wear and tear on your HVAC system, which leads to breakdowns and more repairs.
The problem is that it’s difficult for the average homeowner to notice this problem without periodically checking in on their ductwork. One of the first signs of duct problems is actually energy bills that suddenly increase, or noticing that the HVAC system seems to be working overtime for no good reason.
Common Duct Problems that Can Creep Up On You
So, what exactly goes wrong in the ducts to cause these problems? Some of the things we frequently see include:
- Cracks and gaps in ducts: This is often caused by old age, earthquakes, or long-forgotten damage. These leaks allow properly heated or cooled air to escape from the ducts before it reaches the right spot in your home, so your HVAC system has to work harder. It’s often easy to find these problems with the “flashlight test” of shining a light into the ducts and noting if it can be seen from the outside.
- Missing ductwork: Sometimes a section of ductwork isn’t installed, or ducts aren’t properly connected. This can happen more often than you might think, and makes it almost impossible for your HVAC system to work.
- Mold and mildew: This is a more insidious issue that occurs when dust and moisture build-up in your ducts because of high humidity and other issues. It then spreads allergens and mold spores around your home, which is the last thing any homeowner wants. Cleaning and protective coatings can help address this issue.
- Pest problems: As we mentioned above, pests like rats can chew through ductwork when they feel like it, create holes and gaps that need to be repaired – and the pest infestation needs to be addressed at the same time.
Has it been a little too long since you’ve thought about your ductwork? Maybe it’s time to take a look inside and see how things are. Call Buckeye Heating & Cooling for an inspection today, and we can help you see what shape your ducts are in and if there’s anything you need to do to maintain or repair them.