HVAC Ductwork Servicing - When Did You Last Do It?
Updated: Feb 16
Owning a property comes with a lot of responsibility and understanding the logistics of things you probably wouldn’t have thought of before. Ductwork servicing and maintenance is one of those things. Your property can be expertly furnished with the latest décor and amenities, but if the heating, ventilation, and cooling system isn’t set up or maintained properly, your lovely property will be quite uncomfortable.
What is Ductwork
Ductwork is a system used to distribute air from a heating or cooling system throughout a property.
This process involves sucking the air from throughout the building into the heater or air conditioner, where it is then heated or cooled. This is then pushed back into the building via the ducts installed. The smooth operation of your ductwork is dependent on effective intake and output of air and maintaining the unit at an industry-safe standard. Your property’s hot/cool air balance will be thrown out of whack if your system is ineffective.
Most new property owners choose to have more compact and energy-saving HVAC systems in their properties but do not be daunted if you are buying a property with a ductwork system already installed. With proper servicing and maintenance, you can reduce the risk of things going wrong and reduce your energy spend by identifying and repairing issues quickly.
Benefits of Using an HVAC Duct System
There are plenty of benefits to having an HVAC duct system. Some of them are below:
● HVAC duct systems are cost-saving: Having a duct system that is properly-maintained remarkably reduces the cost of energy inside your property as the conditioned air cools or heats the desired area effectively. If your system is clean and consistently maintained, it will reduce energy waste, maximize your HVAC efficiency, have a track record of optimum performance, and therefore, lower your energy bills.
● HVAC duct systems improve health: Asthma and allergy-suffers would be pleased to know that duct systems equipped with a UV light or an air-filter improve indoor air quality by removing contaminants such as viruses, mold and spores from the air.
● Prolonged lifespan of a duct system: Properly maintaining your duct system removes dust and other particles, prevents damage, unnecessary wear and tear and increases the lifespan of your system. This allows you to have a unit which provides consistently clean air.
● Increased comfort: HVAC duct systems provide conditioned, clean hot or cool air and make the environment healthy and comfortable for the occupants.
Poorly engineered ducting, home renovations, or failing ductwork can all cause cooling/heating issues in your home. You’ll notice these if you have a particular room that is always warmer or cooler than the others.
Now that you know the benefits of having ductwork systems in your property, read on to find out some of the issues your HVAC technician might find when servicing your duct system.
● Torn or damaged flexible ducts - Torn ducts are often the source of excess energy waste in ducted air conditioning HVAC systems or heating systems. The crawlspace and attic are made up of a flexible material that moves slightly as air passes through it. With time, these may kink and sag from the movement of the air and can tear or damage the ducts. Your HVAC technician can spot and repair the kinks and sag before they tear.
● Ducts lying on the floor - the habit of placing the flexible ducts on the floor in the crawlspace or attic is one that can lead to damage from water, rodents and other contaminants. Your technician will ensure that the flexible ducts are properly secured above the floor, if possible.
● Insulation Issues
- Loose Insulation - If your ducts were not properly installed to begin with, they can become loose as time goes on. The technician should check for loose ducts when servicing as any sagging will result in ineffective air conditioning and increased energy waste. Repairing loose ducts is usually done with foil tape.
- Dirty Insulation - It goes without saying that you need your insulation to be clean. Any dark stain on patches of insulation means your ductwork is not properly sealed. This allows air, dirt and dust to pass through the insulation. If this is identified, your technician will either remove the stained insulation, seal the ductwork, or replace the insulation if it cannot be cleaned.
- Lack of insulation - Loose or dirty insulation is not as bad as having no insulation at all. All exposed metal ducts should be insulated, especially if they run through unconditioned spaces. If for any reason, your technician notices that an area does not have the required insulation, he will have to do the installation.
Note that some spans of ductwork may be insulated on the interior. There are ways to test this that your technician will know. If he tests the areas and they are hollow, that confirms the lack of insulation.
● Air leaks in the ducts - The average home loses about 10 to 30 percent of its conditioned air because of duct leaks. That is a significant amount of energy waste. If the ducts are kept within the home’s thermal envelope, the energy might be contained within your home, but it still might be released into wall cavities and crawl spaces, not the living areas whose temperature you want to regulate. These leaks would have to be sealed to prevent further loss of energy and to return your home to one that is effectively heated and cooled.
● Obstruction of the vent’s airflow - Any blockage of your ducts’ vents by furniture or fixtures disrupts airflow and can prevent air from circulating through rooms. If this blockage is substantial, it can have repercussions throughout the ductwork design, changing the pressure in the system and contributing to HVAC fan motor burnout.
● Install a UV light -. UV lights use ultraviolet radiation to sterilize air, destroying bacteria, as well as mold and fungal spores. This prevents the buildup of mold and other contaminants inside the ducts, where humidity is often difficult to control.
● Test your ducts - Your technician will read the air pressure within the ducts during system operation and analyze how much air you’re losing and how well the system is balanced.
● Tell you if it’s time for a professional cleaning - Obstructions inside the ductwork can be even more damaging than ones outside. The buildup of dirt and items such as dislodged air filters can not only affect your health and how the unit functions, but also poses a threat for fires.
Owning a ductwork HVAC system has a lot of benefits. With the proper maintenance and cleaning, you can enjoy your unit for many years to come and prevent the need for a full duct replacement. Improve your duct system’s energy efficiency, heating, ventilation and air conditioning functionality with these tips.
Wright’s AC also can offer you duct-less systems. There are benefits to having a ducted system, but also benefits of a mini-split or ductless HVAC system.
Contact Wright’s AC and Heat to find out how our HVAC technicians can help to keep your duct system functioning at its best and about our other HVAC services in the Austin area.