Faulty ductwork in a home can lead to a variety of problems, including significant energy waste, poor heating and cooling performance, and declining indoor air quality. These issues can be a result of both leaky ducts and dirty ducts. In most cases, repair work (sealing leaks, firmly reconnecting loose duct sections, and/or cleaning dirty ducts) will satisfactorily address duct issues. However, in extreme cases, the ducts may need a complete replacement.
What Role Do Ducts Play?
Just as your heart relies on arteries and veins to circulate blood, forced-air HVAC systems rely on ductwork to circulate air. Problems with circulation can reverberate throughout the system, impairing performance and wasting energy.
What Can Go Wrong with Ducts?
- Leaks. Over time, or as a result of poor design or installation, ducts can develop leaks, usually where sections are connected to each other or to the furnace plenum or registers. Leaks result in wasted energy, as heated or cooled air escapes into unconditioned or non-insulated areas such as crawl spaces, the basement or wall voids. Your HVAC system has to work harder to compensate for that lost air. This wastes energy, stresses equipment and results in uneven heating and cooling. Leaky ducts also can result in backdrafting, where dirty air from unconditioned areas gets drawn into the ductwork as a result of negative air pressure. This can erode indoor air quality.
- Lack of insulation. As ducts run through unconditioned areas, heat energy can be lost through thin duct walls, or in the summer, heat can transfer into the ducts, diluting the cool air. That’s why it’s essential to insulate duct runs in unconditioned areas.
- Dirty ducts. Over time, ductwork can accumulate dust and all manner of debris. At some point, this can erode indoor air quality and impede airflow.
If you’re having any of these problems, it’s time for a professional duct inspection. The inspector will recommend a plan of action, which in extreme cases will include duct replacement.
To discuss your home’s ductwork with a trained professional, please contact us today at Arpi’s Industries, serving the Calgary area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about ductwork and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide.
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