Many homeowners think that they should be able to detect issues with their ductwork. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Most homeowners do not know what to look for in their ducts and thus cannot check for any problems until major breakdowns occur. Neglecting routine duct maintenance will only cost you in the end. Here are 11 signs that your ductwork may be damaged.
1. Uneven Air Distribution
The most obvious sign of ductwork damage is when the air distribution system only seems to be putting out warm or hot air. This indicates that protective seals around your furnace or heating and cooling units are no longer intact, which could lead to a dangerous situation. If the air distribution system is exposed, this could also lead to an increase in duct surface temperatures and fire hazards. It’s important to have your ducts regularly inspected to ensure that they are still protected with the proper seals.
2. Abnormal Noisy Heating or Air Conditioning
The insulating properties of your ductwork undoubtedly play a role in the overall comfort of your home, and certain airflow patterns can be detrimental to the system’s ability to do its job effectively. Generally, if you hear strange noises coming from your ducts all the time or at certain times of the day, this could signify that there are crimps or other issues.
If you hear a rattling or vibrating sound coming from your drywall, it could be that your ductwork is damaged. Noises are often created by air passing through the ventilation system. If there are any holes, air can escape and make unusual sounds. Similarly, if the joints connecting the duct sections make noise, air can make noise as it flows through them. This situation is usually best avoided by having your ductwork maintained regularly.
3. Unexpectedly Higher Energy Bills
If your energy bills seem higher than usual for no apparent reason, it could be due to damaged ductwork. In some cases, this issue can be caused by loose fittings or even gaps in your ventilation system. It could also be that your ducts are the wrong material for the area you live in and cannot effectively reflect heat or cool air. Your central AC system has to fight harder to reach the desired temperature, so more energy is expended. If your heating and cooling bills are spiking, call a licensed HVAC technician at Oak Island Heating and Air Conditioning to inspect the air ducts for signs of damage or faulty installation.
4. Smelling Mold or Mildew
The presence of mold indicates that your ductwork is leaking air, which can be extremely humid and cause health issues. The moisture that leaks into your home can damage the furnishings and interior surfaces. A sudden leak could indicate a damaged pipe or even a major blockage. If you notice that your air ducts are moldy, check underneath your baseboards and behind your furniture to ensure there isn’t a leak. Mold can expand rapidly in these areas. Mold should never be ignored as it is highly toxic and can cause significant damage to your health and home. Any visible mold growth needs to be removed and the affected areas cleaned completely.
5. Signs of Pest Infestation
If you have mice or rats in your home, you should always check under and around your air vents. Rodents can make their homes in the insulation surrounding ductwork. If they aren’t dealt with quickly, they can do a lot of damage to your ductwork. The damage is done on the inside of your duct and in areas where the rodents have been storing food. They can chew through ductwork, creating holes that allow more pests to come in. If you spot evidence of rodent activity near the air vents, contact a professional pest exterminator immediately.
6. Walls Peeling or Showing Cracks or Crevices
When ductwork is in poor condition or not maintained properly, it can cause damage to the walls around it. This type of damage usually happens to pipes that are not appropriately sealed. In some cases, this can cause structural damage to your house. The ductwork may need to be removed to prevent further damage and for the area to be repaired properly.
7. Uneven Temperatures Throughout Your Home
If your air ducts are not properly installed, this can cause a problem known as “duct-crossing.” This is when one area of the home has lower temperatures than others. If the temperature drops, the air can collect in certain areas and create a “cold spot.” This may be due to improper installation, such as when ducts cross or are too close to each other. If left untreated, it could even cause your AC system to fail.
8. Excessive Dust or Debris Around Your Vents
If your air ducts are not properly cleaned, leaving dust or debris around your vents can increase the risk of fire. The buildup of dust can cause the inside of your ducts to heat up, which increases the risk of fire. If your vents were ever to spark, the fire could spread to other areas of your home very quickly. This is why regular maintenance is so important.
9. Slanted, Cracked or Rotted Sheetrock
Although sheetrock is generally a very strong material, it can start to rot when exposed to excessive moisture. If your sheetrock has begun to rot, it is a sign that your ductwork is damaged and leaking. This can cause mold or even structural damage to your home. When you see sheetrock damage, you need to contact a professional HVAC contractor as soon as possible.
10. Your Air Ducts Are Old or Tangled
If your air ducts are bent or tangled, this can cause various issues. If they are bent too far, this could cause your AC system to overwork. If they are tangled, it can also affect how your air and heat are distributed through your home. This is especially true if your ducts have been installed in an area that was previously damaged. If you are experiencing various issues with your ductwork and aren’t sure what the problem might be, consider having our professionals from Oak Island Heating and Air Conditioning clean it. Our professionals can inspect your ductwork and ensure that the airflow is restored to its original pattern.
11. Improper Installation
You might need to replace your ductwork if it was installed improperly from the beginning. Air ductwork installation is critical to the life of your system. Although it may seem like a simple task, there are a few things that you should know about it before you begin. A professional HVAC contractor will take the time to install your ducts properly. They will usually start by attaching the air ducts to your plenum to direct the airflow. Next, they’ll connect your supply ducts to the main trunk line and then run them out to the rooms where you need them. If you’re having issues with your HVAC system, consider having a professional technician inspect your ducts to ensure they haven’t been damaged or improperly installed.
If you are looking for a reliable duct cleaning company in San Marcos or a surrounding area, Oak Island Heating and Air Conditioning is here to help. We’ve provided quality duct cleaning services for many years. Contact Oak Island Heating and Air Conditioning in San Marcos today for a free estimate on our air duct cleaning services. We also perform heating and cooling services as well as HVAC zoning.