Regular HVAC maintenance is imperative as it helps you avoid unnecessary repair costs and lowers your bills. One of the vital HVAC parts that need to be maintained is air ducts. They are an essential component that circulates air around the house, maintaining a healthy airflow across your home.
Air ducts do not need constant care, but you need to check on them every once in a while. Since they are not in plain sight, people often disregard their maintenance. However, just like some other parts, air ducts also need repair and replacement. We will give you a list of signs of when it is time to replace the air ducts. Stick around to learn more!
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Signs To Replace Air Ducts
Air ducts are made from a combination of materials, such as fiberglass and plastic. Even though ductworks usually last for a really long time, they tend to deteriorate and get damaged due to various reasons.
If your ducts are not fitted well, you might lose up to 25% of conditioned air due to leaks. This would also speed up the process of deterioration. Here are some reasons why you should replace your air ducts:
Even though air ducts can last as long as the entire HVAC unit (generally 10 to 15 years), old ducts might not function as well as they used to.
Thus, you must give them proper care to avoid high energy bills and frequent repair and replacements. If unattended for a long period, these ducts might wear as time passes, making them less effective. It is therefore recommended to get them checked and possibly replaced every ten years!
2. Poor Airflow
Even though air ducts might not seem like an important part, they do play a crucial role in regulating hot and cold air in your house.
Over time, a lot of dust and debris gather around in the ductworks. This causes them to get clogged, resulting in poor airflow. Poor airflow brings about different concerns, such as high energy bills, discomfort, and even some respiratory issues.
If you notice that your house is not receiving proper cooling or heating, but your bills are higher than ever, this might be a sign that your air ducts need cleaning or replacement. When there are any problems with ducts, the system needs to work harder to circulate air. The system gets overworked, which results in high energy bills.
In case the problem is minor, or if there is simply some dirt, call technicians to clean up the ducts. However, if the problem occurs often and the air ducts are older, it might be a sign that it is time for a replacement!
3. Poor Cooling
There can be numerous causes of poor cooling. The chances are that the air filters might be the culprit. However, If you inspect the filters and conclude that they are not the problem, ductwork is the next place to look. In this case, we recommend you get a licensed technician to check it out!
4. Mold and Odors
After a certain period, ductworks can develop molds. If these molds get into your air ducts, this can prove to be very troublesome for you!
Whatever is in the ducts will spread all over your home every time the system is working. In this case, mold spores, which spread very quickly, would cause unpleasant odors.
Mold can cause a lot of health problems, especially to those with asthma or allergies. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to have your HVAC checked if you notice any foul smell coming out of the ducts.
Sometimes a clean-up might do, but usually, the entire ductwork will need a replacement!
5. Dents and Punctures
Air ducts are complex and designed to help the air circulate all over the house whenever the AC is on. They are strategically placed in order to make this process a lot easier.
However, any dents and punctures in the air ducts might significantly slow down the system. Its efficiency will no longer be the same, which is when you need to call in the professionals! The technicians will assess the damage and help you determine whether or not to replace the entire ductwork or simply make some repairs.
6. Noisy HVAC Operation
Every HVAC system makes some noise when working, but this noise is not meant to disturb or annoy you. If you notice that your HVAC has become annoyingly loud, there might be some trouble!
This is generally caused by dirt, clogged ducts, dents, etc. The noise is actually quite helpful as you do not always get to see these potential problems.
If the fiberglass or plastic joints of the ductwork is damaged, you will hear a whistling noise. Rattling and vibrations are also good indicators that there is something wrong with your air ducts.
Keep in mind that this is not one of those sounds that you should ignore. The longer you ignore it, the worse it gets!
7. Improper Installation
Even with the best HVAC system, poorly installed air ducts will give you more trouble than expected. Ductworks are generally designed carefully to avoid any leaks and damages that might affect their performance.
Poor installation will result in poor performance and high energy bills, which is why a complete replacement is necessary! It is always recommended to hire professionals for the installation process.
8. Debris Around the Vents
If the air inside your home is too dirty, this might mean that the ducts are not in the best condition. Over an extended period, you may notice small marks around the vents. This calls for technicians to check out the problem! Extensive, long-standing debris might render your old ductwork useless. Thus, never ignore such issues considering them to be minor.
There are quite a few things that can cause your HVAC system to malfunction. Regular inspection and maintenance might help you avoid such problems. If not, it will at least help you determine the problem sooner than it gets worse.
However, troubleshooting major issues yourself might do you more harm than good. Make sure to get professional help if you notice any of the issues from above!