Watching Those Filters

Does Your Home's Ductwork Need Repairs?

If you have an HVAC system that uses forced air, know that it depends on the ductwork to get air to every room of the home. If there is ductwork that is damaged, the entire system may be operating inefficiently due to air leaking out. Here are some indications that you need to have your ductwork repaired by an HVAC professional.

Visible Damage

The first thing you should do is check any ductwork that is easily accessible for visible damage. Go into your basement or crawlspace and look at all of the exposed ductwork. Are the joints of each section connected together without any gaps? Are there places where the ductwork has holes in it? While the system is running, can you feel air leaking out though places where air shouldn't be coming out? These are all reasons to have the ductwork repaired.

Temperature Inconsistencies

Sometimes you can't see places where your ductwork is damaged between the walls. One way that you can check for problems is to measure the temperature of the air coming out of each vent while the system is running. An HVAC system that has good ductwork should have temperatures that are even throughout the entire home. If one vent has a temperature that is notably lower than the rest, it could be due to a problem with the ductwork leading to that specific room.

A different way to check for problems is with an infrared camera. This will allow you to see the temperature behind the wall and if hot or cold air is leaking out into the space behind the walls. By looking at each run of ductwork and checking for any big differences in temperature in the space, you can get an idea if the air is contained in the ductwork or not.

Differences in Pressure

If you're unsure of what to look for, consider having your HVAC system professionally inspected. One thing professional AC services can do that you cannot is perform a blower test. This involves pressurizing the air that goes into the system to a certain degree, and then measuring the air that comes out of the vents. By knowing how much the air is pressurized when it enters the ductwork, it is easy to figure out if that air pressure is consistent on the opposite ends where all the vents are located. If the air pressure isn't consistent, there is likely a problem with the ducts. This process can help track down the places where the ductwork is damaged and in need of repair.