If you’re like many homeowners, you don’t think of your residential ductwork until there’s a problem needing repairs. Homeowners often have a slight knowledge of how and why ducts and vents function in the home but often don’t realize the importance of properly sized ducts in good repair.
Residential ductwork distributes airflow through various HVAC appliances to interior and exterior vents. Damaged, leaking ducts put added wear and tear on your furnace and air conditioner, leading to premature failure, while also spiking your home’s utility bills. Dirty ductwork results in poor indoor air quality.
While high-quality residential ductwork installed properly might not need repairs for years or even decades, it is vital that a homeowner schedule ductwork inspection and cleaning on a consistent basis. Timely repairs also ensure improved indoor air quality and reduce the risk of wasted utility costs.
To ensure you’re keeping your home’s HVAC system in good repair, including ducts and vents, you might note some vital information about these pieces and that system overall. You can then discuss any needs for ductwork cleaning and repairs with an HVAC contractor near you, and know that you’re not wasting energy through leaking ducts or breathing poor-quality air because of dirty, neglected ductwork!
So you better understand the need for keeping residential ductwork in good repair and know when it’s time to call an HVAC contractor near you, note some added details about ducts, vents, and other HVAC system fixtures and features.
As said, ductwork tends to hold lots of dirt, dust, and other debris. While you might not think of the irritants trapped in your home’s ductwork, remember that those irritants get circulated throughout your house every time the air conditioner or furnace cycles on! If you notice that your home seems stuffy, dusty, or otherwise irritating and less than clean and fresh, this might be a sign of needed duct cleaning.
Dust and other irritants trap and hold heat, warming up cooled air originating from your home’s air conditioner. In turn, the AC needs to cycle on longer in order to maintain your desired temperature. Trapped dirt, dust, and other debris also slows down air circulation so that your furnace, AC, and air purifiers also work harder to push air through ducts and to nearby vents.
Duct cleaning also allows an HVAC contractor to examine ductwork for leaks and other needed repairs. As he or she pushes air through to clean ducts, your HVAC contractor can note where that air leaks out around connectors and other areas. You can then schedule needed repairs or ductwork replacement and ensure your home’s HVAC system is in good repair.
Since ducts are located behind walls or are covered with construction materials, it’s often easy for a homeowner to overlook signs of needed ductwork repair. Ignoring damaged or worn ducts, however, means higher energy costs and poor indoor air quality. Note a few signs that it’s time to call an HVAC contractor near you for needed ductwork repair in your home.
It’s also good to note that older homes or those that have gone through DIY renovation projects might have old and damaged ducts or ductwork running through areas it shouldn’t, such as garages or crawlspaces. If you’ve upgraded your home’s furnace or air conditioner or had an air purifier installed, these appliances might be too large and powerful for older ductwork. In these cases, it’s good to have an HVAC contractor near you examine that ductwork for needed repairs, removal, or replacement, to ensure ducts are in good condition and your home is protected from poor air quality.
While ductwork is needed to push heated and cooled air from an HVAC system to interior rooms, a home doesn’t necessarily need ductwork installation. For example, a home might be heated with radiant heating under the floors or radiators in each room. Homes in very warm environments might also forego installed heating altogether, with homeowners relying on space heaters when needed!
Split system air conditioners, such as those used in hotel rooms, also allow for needed cooling without ductwork. A split system air conditioner installs in a wall or ceiling, with an exhaust vent connected to an exterior wall. Cooled air is pushed through the front panel of a split system unit rather than ductwork.
While these options allow for heating and cooling of your home without ductwork, note that they might not offer the consistent temperature control you desire. Radiators and split system air conditioners also offer heating and cooling to a limited space so areas of a room away from these systems might get overly warm or cold throughout the day. To enjoy consistent temperatures and humidity control throughout your home, consider ductwork installation as needed.
Can a homeowner install ductwork themselves?
As with plumbing pipes, ductwork installation is often more complicated than homeowners realize! Ductwork is connected with boots, collars, end caps, and duct reducers, all of which need proper installation for needed airflow and to reduce wear and tear on a home’s HVAC system. Ductwork installation also involves proper load calculation and sealing. To protect your home and appliances, rely on an HVAC contractor near you for ductwork installation.
How do you increase airflow in the home?
You might not need new residential ductwork installation to increase airflow in the home. Instead, consider ductwork cleaning and ensure all vents are cleaned thoroughly as well. An air purifier also helps remove airborne dust and debris, allowing for improved air circulation throughout the house.