Is Your Old Ductwork in Danger of Failing You? Signs It’s Time for Replacement
Ductwork is an essential part of your home’s forced-air heating and cooling system. The ductwork carries conditioned air throughout your house, from the furnace to the farthest vent, and then brings it back to your HVAC equipment to be heated or cooled all over again. This distance allows plenty of room for common obstructions to form and compromise performance, leaks to crop up and cost you money, or dirt to accumulate.
This vital pipeline for air throughout your home can age, just as all other parts of your home. It’s the nature of most ductwork networks that they do their work unseen, hidden within the walls, and small problems with old ductwork may go unnoticed for some time as they become more serious problems. In addition to aging, the home may not have been built with the best ductwork available.
So how can you tell if your old ductwork needs replacement?
Here are some telling signs:
- Consider the age of the ducts. Were they installed at the time the home was built, or have they been replaced since? Home builders often select materials based on the lowest cost, not the highest quality. Joints, seams and seals in original ducts tend can deteriorate in as few as 10 years.
- Inspect the ductwork in any exposed area. Attics and crawlspaces provide good opportunities for this. Look at the joints for deterioration or disconnection. Can you see streaks of dust radiating from the joins? This may indicate rust or corrosion.
- Check the air flow in individual rooms. Lower air flow can indicate a compromise in the joints of the ducts, or a collapse in the spans of ductwork. If one room has temperature variations, it may indicate air leaks or a problem with the duct insulation.
- Have an HVAC professional perform a blower test. Your contractor will pressurize the ducts with a blower fan. Once the blower pressurizes the ductwork to a standard level, your HVAC contractor will use readings from pressure sensors in the ducts to calculate if you have leaks.
For more information on your home’s ductwork, or other HVAC system maintenance, contact Sobieski Services today. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
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