When you think of your air conditioning system, what are you actually thinking of? That outdoor unit that you whack weeds around? Maybe the thermostat on your wall that you use to regulate temperatures in your home? Those are both reasonable starting places when it comes to the air conditioning system. But there is more to your AC than meets the eye. We are talking specifically about your ductwork.
If you use a central air conditioner or a heat pump to cool your home, then you use air ducts to distribute this conditioned air throughout your living space. These ducts are most likely hidden away behind walls, above ceilings, below floors, in the attic, etc. But being out of sight does not mean they should be out of mind. Your air ducts will cause serious issues if they are not kept in great condition.
What Kinds of Problems?
Air ducts can be compromised in a few different ways. They may be poorly insulated. They may be damaged by pests or corrosion due to moisture issues. They may even just suffer issues related to age. Regardless of what the source may be, the problems are always serious enough to warrant your attention.
- Indoor Air Quality. If your ductwork is leaking, then you are allowing pollutants to get into that system. Once pollutants get into this system, they will be distributed throughout the entire house via your ductwork. That means major air quality issues putting household health and comfort at risk!
- Energy Efficiency. When ductwork leaks, you are not going to cool your home as efficiently as you should be able to. It’s just that simple. You’ll introduce heat from unconditioned spaces into your ductwork, and your system will have to work harder and harder to achieve and maintain desired temperatures in your home.
- Overall System Condition. As your air conditioner is put under more and more stress as a result of trying to cool your home with poor ductwork, it will suffer excessive wear and tear. That increases the risk of operational issues with the system and may well lead to a shorter lifespan than the system should have.
What We Can Do About It?
Anything you need, really. But we typically recommend starting with duct testing. By sealing up your ducts and pressurizing them, we can go about pinpointing the exact spots where leaks have developed.
Once we’ve completed that evaluation, we can determine what the best course of action is. In many cases, sealing air ducts that have started to leak is a great option. In others, depending on the severity of any damage, more extensive repairs may be necessary.
Don’t start searching the internet for DIY duct repair tips, either. This is definitely the type of job that you need skilled, trained professionals to handle.
One last tip—don’t ever put duct tape on ducts! It’s actually a terrible material for surfaces that see fluctuating temperatures.