Few people check in on their air ducts to see how they are doing. In fact, even when they have HVAC problems few people suspect the air ducts. Yet, according to Energy Star, many homes have leaks in their air ducts. The average home loses 20-30% of its cool air in the summer and warm air in the winter to these leaks. That air isn’t completely lost; it still ends up in your home. But, it can worsen cold or hot spots and keep the thermostat at a different temperature than it should be, making your air conditioner or furnace work harder.
What’s the solution? Well, first, you need to know how to tell if your air ducts are leaking. When you can assess performance and find the problem spots, then you can have your HVAC technician fix them.
1. Loose or Damaged Ducts
Not all of your air ducts will be visible. Most will be in the walls behind some drywall. But, if you’re lucky, you can spot some of the ducts in your basement or some other spot. The condition of these ducts can give you valuable information about the whole system. Here’s what you should look for:
- Loose connections
- Rusted spots
- Missing tape or sealant
- Crushed or broken sections
If the ducts down here are in poor condition, the odds are that the ducts in the rest of your home need some attention as well.
2. Cold or Hot Spots
Is there one room or section of the house that is consistently hard to cool in the summer or heat in the winter? Don’t blame the layout of the home, the air duct system should have been designed to properly deliver consistent conditioned air to every spot in the house. The spots may be due to leaks in the air ducts keeping the conditioned air from getting to this place in the home. Or, the duct system may have been poorly designed. Either way, an HVAC technician can change this and actually resolve the problem moving forward.
3. High Energy Bills
When your ducts just started leaking, you may notice a sudden jump in your utility costs as compared to the same month last year. However, if they have been leaking for some time, you may be paying this boosted cost without even realizing it. If you suspect that your energy bills are too high for this or another reason, then you can ask your HVAC technician to assess your system and find out how you can lower your bills.
4. Lots of Dust and Air Quality Issues
Leaks in your air ducts may create suction where dust from crawlspaces, attics, and other spots are pulled into the air ducts and then released into the rest of your home. Or, the dust may be from years of build-up in the ducts, which indicates that the ducts have not been cleaned out or inspected for leaks.
A professional can inspect your ductwork and look for leaks, as well as remove the dust and restore your air quality. Contact us today for top notch air conditioning repair in Livermore and beyond.