Most Colorado homeowners don’t think twice about their air ducts until energy costs rise significantly, and they begin to look for problem areas other than the heating unit.
Experts agree energy costs can increase up to 40 percent and decrease the life of your HVAC system with defective air ducts. Over time, you may notice changes in your home, such as poor air quality, varying room temperatures and your system operating longer to warm your rooms. These are signs that your air ducts may need attention.
Signs of duct problems
Cracks or breaks in the ducts will affect the quality of warm air traveling to your rooms. Conditioned air will escape through the cracks and unconditioned air from attics or basements can enter the ducts and change the temperature of the air.
Dampers in the ducts that have shifted and opened wider will allow more air to enter rooms, causing hot spots. Dampers can shift and close off air to a room, creating cold spots.
Dirt enters ducts from clogged filters or cracks and affects the air quality in your rooms. Family members will breathe in dirt particles and pollutants, which increases the chance of upper respiratory infections.
Strange odors are signs moisture has entered your ducts. Mold or mildew accumulates inside the ducts and can aggravate conditions in members of your family sensitive to mold or mildew.
Solutions for air duct issues
Repair all minor cracks and breaks in ducts by removing old duct tape and sealing the cracks with mastic cement.
Adjust dampers to regulate the airflow to your rooms.
Contact a licensed contractor for major repairs to ducts. Look for a contractor with expertise in sealing ducts and request an inspection and evaluation of your air ducts.
If your ductwork needs cleaning, hire a certified technician who’s experienced in duct cleaning and familiar with your system.