How Closely Linked Is the Condition of Your Air Ducts to the Performance of Your HVAC System?

When air duct efficiency is optimum, conditioned air produced by your HVAC system gets where it’s supposed to go and keeps the whole house comfortable and healthy. If the ductwork is marginal, however, household temperatures become inconsistent, heating and cooling costs rise, and indoor air quality suffers.

Duct efficiency, or the lack of it, is usually directly related to a few specific aspects of ductwork condition. Here’s a list of things that might be wrong:

1. Dirty air filter.

A clogged air filter chokes system airflow volume and inhibits proper circulation. Temperature control is unstable; air quality suffers as filtration effectiveness is diminished. Change the filter at least every other month in the winter and every month during the summer.

2. Duct defects.

Defective ductwork ranges from pinholes and minor leakage around joints — common in houses more than 10 years old — to entire segments of ductwork that have become disconnected or even internally collapsed. If air leakage or more major issues are suspected, a qualified HVAC service tech can perform an inspection and testing to determine the extent of leaks, as well as suggest sealing and repair procedures.

3. Closed vents.

It happens for various reasons, such as someone desiring to shut off cooled or heated air in an unused room. However, system air volume and duct design are based on the assumption that all vents in the house remain open all the time. If numerous vents are closed or blocked, the critical air balance of supply and return airflow may be disrupted, causing inconsistent temperatures and even poor air quality throughout the house.

4. Lack of insulation.

Uninsulated ducts routed through extremely hot areas — such as the attic — or cold, damp areas — like the crawl space — may be affected by excess heat gain or heat loss, respectively. This can reduce A/C and furnace efficiency as units run longer cycles to maintain temperatures. Ask your HVAC contractor to evaluate ductwork routed through unconditioned zones and suggest duct insulation options.

If duct efficiency in your home is in question, the professionals at Paitson Bros. can provide solutions. We’ve been getting the job done in the Wabash Valley since 1922.

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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

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