Your home’s ducts are the essential arteries that bring heat to your whole house in the winter. And they carry cool air to your home all summer too. Are yours in good condition? Leaking vents, those with holes, poor connections, or other damage, all allow that precious warm or cool air to escape the vent. That can result in cold spots and warm spots and make your furnace or air conditioner work too hard. The result is that you waste and ton of energy, and your home is less comfortable than it should be.

Getting your ductwork fixed by professionals is simple if you know that they need it. So, how do you tell? Here are the signs that your ductwork is damaged.

1. Rattles, Whistles and Bangs

It is normal to hear something when the furnace or air conditioner turns on. The fan directs the air right into your ducts, so you should hear a bit of blowing and a bit of shifting as this happens. But, when your ducts have been damaged, this influx of air might create other noises. That includes rattling from loose pieces, whistling from holes and gaps, as well as bangs from misshapen or poorly attached ducting. Any of these noises should prompt a call to your HVAC technician.

2. Low Airflow

When the air can escape from your ductwork early, there is less pressure available to get the rest of the air all the way to the last vent. That can mean that the vents furthest from your furnace or air conditioner feel very weak. There is little air coming out of them, or none at all. This means that this portion of your home may feel dramatically different, temperature-wise, than the rest.

Low airflow can be a sign of other issues, too, including debris in your ductwork or outright clogs. It’s important to get a professional assessment to resolve this one.

3. Dust and Debris

You just did your dusting recently, but when you take something off your shelf, it clearly collected dust. Or, you thought your allergy season was over, but you’re still sniffling or scratching at your eyes. What’s going on? Your ductwork is probably full of dust and airborne debris it has collected over the years, and then it is distributing that back into your air every time the fan blows.

If this is a problem, you may also notice smells from your vents, especially moldy or mildewy smells. Mold, mildew, and bacteria can grow in the debris your ducts have collected. Sometimes this debris is inches thick, like a carpet, or even so thick it blocks off the vent. HVAC technicians can remove all of this so your air quality improves.

4. Pest Problems

When you’re dealing with any kind of pest, finding out where it is nesting is key to resolving the issue. If the pest has stumped a pest control professional, or your traps aren’t quite working, one possibility is that pests have taken up residence in your ductwork. We can help by repairing gaps and fixing vents.