Ductwork is one of the most important parts of your home heating and cooling system. Eventually, all ductwork will begin to show its age. Your ducts should be inspected frequently in order to determine whether they need maintenance or replacement. Follow these tips to determine whether your ductwork is showing its age:
- Check the age of your ducts and duct system. Older duct systems may have inherent efficiency issues, or may develop problems over time.
- Check exposed areas first, as these are the most commonly impacted by wear and tear. Look for worn tape at junction points, as many older systems used duct tape as a sealant instead of more efficient materials.
- Check the seams along exposed areas for signs of air traveling outside of your system. Generally, lines of dust radiating from seams will occur if air is escaping.
- Evaluate rooms for temperature instability and issues with air flow. Rooms that do not have the same airflow as they once had may be attached to areas of the system that have blockages of dust or even collapsed ductwork. Poor heating or cooling in certain rooms can also be a sign of this.
- If you aren’t sure how to evaluate your ducts, schedule an inspection with a qualified inspector. It is best to do this before weather extremes occur; fall is an appropriate time for heating and cooling inspections.
- Prepare for your yearly service inspection by changing filters and clearing vents and other air inlets and outlets. This will help to ensure that minor problems do not impact your inspection.
Even if your system is working fine, your ducts may need work done to them. Older duct systems can be unreliable, as standards for these systems were much different. In general, duct systems that are 10 years old or more should be reevaluated for issues that may have been present all along. Older systems should also be maintained more regularly to ensure problems do not occur. If you need assistance with your HVAC system, contact Arpi’s for an evaluation.
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 Resource guide.
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