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Signs You Need Repairs for Your Ductwork

interior-ac-ductsWhen people think of residential HVAC companies, they usually first think of fixing and installing air conditioning and heating systems. But that only covers the “H” and “AC” part of “HVAC.” One of the most critical parts of our job providing Apex, NC, HVAC services is work on the ventilation systems in homes. Poor ductwork is a source of tremendous issues that can wreck comfort and ruin energy efficiency in a house. A great AC and heater won’t be worth much if the ductwork they use to distribute conditioned air is leaking and broken.

Your home may need ductwork repairs, such as duct sealing. But how can you tell when you can’t see most of the ducts? There are several signs, which may often appear to be trouble with other parts of the HVAC system at first. No matter what you think is the source, call us for help when you notice these warning signs:

Surge in heating/cooling costs

Air leaks in ducts can suck away up to 30% of the heated or cooled air moving through them. The HVAC system must make up for that loss by running longer, and this will cause a steep increase in monthly utility bills. Any rise in the cost to run the HVAC system that you cannot account for through increased use or an energy cost increase is a reason to call professionals.

Rattling sounds from the vents

When the heater or AC first comes on, you might hear slight rattling from the ductwork. This is normal: it’s the metal in the ducts expanding or contracting from the temperature change. But if a rattling sound is constant and it keeps coming through the vents, it may mean parts of the ducts are damaged or have come loose. 

The HVAC system is running too long

Short-cycling is a common trouble with an HVAC system, where the AC or heater shuts off too early then starts up again. The opposite problem can happen, when the blower fan and heater/AC stay running for far too long, seeming to never shut off. This can indicate too much air lost to air leaks. (Yes, this is one of the sources for higher energy bills.) 

Musty and moldy odors from the vents

Because the ducts are contained in shut-off areas of the house (between walls, in the attic), the air they draw in through gaps and holes will be stuffy, stale, and sometimes even moldy. This will end up wafted out of the vents, giving you an alert that the ductwork has damage. 

Uneven heating and cooling

Leaking air ducts are a major cause of a house that’s suffering from hot and cold spots in the rooms. Damaged ducts will channel less conditioned air to their vents.

Drop in airflow from the vents

If you notice that the airflow coming from room vents is sluggish, this may mean that leaks have caused air pressure throughout the ventilation system to decline. This will eventually lead to a drop in comfort around the house. 

Schedule service in the Triangle Area of North Carolina with Comfort Master Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. “Comfort From Our Family to Yours.”

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