Ductwork refers to all the ducts that channel air between your heating and cooling system and the rooms in your house. At one end are the vents that cycle air through the house, and at the other end are your HVAC units and fan system.
Your air ducts, however, occupy a more hidden middle space in crawlspaces, basements, and attics and can easily go unnoticed by homeowners. After all, if the house is warming or cooling down properly, the ductwork is probably doing its job, right? But many issues can develop with ducts that are left alone for years at a time, and these can lead to energy or HVAC problems in your house.
The best way to prevent issues is with timely maintenance. There are several things that homeowners can do to make sure ducts aren’t running into any problems.
Looking for Excess Dirt or Mold
Older ducts may have a lot of dirt built up. Add a little bit of water, and mold could also be growing or even harboring dust mites. Particles from this mess can also get blown throughout your house, causing even more trouble. If this is happening, it’s time to arrange a full duct cleaning to get all that gunk out and keep even worse problems from developing.
Watching for Pests
Sometimes ductworks can be an attractive place for rodents or insects to set up shop, creating nests and lots of destruction at the same time. Noises, odors, and other problems can indicate a closer look is needed. If you find pests inside, it’s time to call an exterminator and get your ducts examined for any gaps or openings.
Locating Any Cracks or Gashes
Ductworks can get torn by installation damage, age, pest activity, and other causes. These gaps allow air to leak away, damaging the efficiency of the system and creating other problems. They’re also hard to spot without a little work – going to the ducts and shining a flashlight around them is one option, as long as you have someone looking into each vent for any cracks of light that indicate an issue.
Sealing and Insulating Ducts
In especially cold areas, ducts can also lose a lot of heat if they aren’t properly insulated. Foil-backed tape and similar solutions can help insulate your ducts, especially at weak points, so your home heats properly. Adding more insulation to crawlspaces or attics can also help with this problem.
Not sure what’s going on with your ducts? It can be difficult to take a look, especially if most of your ductwork is deep in crawlspaces. We can handle it! Give Guaranteed Heating & Cooling a call, and we’ll provide a full duct inspection that will let you know if your ducts have any pressing issues that need to be handled.
An inspection like this is an especially good idea for older ducts that haven’t been looked at in many years. If you are buying a new HVAC unit, it’s also a perfect time to check on your ducts to ensure they are sized correctly and problem-free.