The ductwork is a vital component of a home’s HVAC system that often doesn’t get a lot of attention, but it plays a key role how well the system functions. Old ductwork can contribute to a loss of energy efficiency, high heating and cooling costs, a decline in comfort and even poor air quality.
Knowing how to identify the signs that your ductwork is getting old is the first step toward solving these problems.
Warning Signs That Your Ductwork isn’t Aging Gracefully
If you recognize any of the following concerning signs, it’s worth having the condition of your duct system assessed:
- Outdated design. It’s unlikely that ductwork more than 15 years old was designed to today’s standards, so its sizing and layout may not be efficient. Nowadays, an HVAC installer uses Manual D calculations to design ductwork that keeps airflow in balance so the HVAC system operates properly.
- Escalating energy bills. If you don’t understand why your energy bills are climbing even though your keep the HVAC equipment professionally maintained and your heating and cooling habits haven’t changed, age-related duct deficiencies may be the culprit. Older ductwork that’s not sealed and insulated properly can waste up to a third of your HVAC system’s output.
- Evidence of decay. Although you can’t look behind the ceilings and walls, you can check easily-accessible ducts in your attic, crawl space or garage for signs of deterioration. Look for damaged, crumpled or disconnected sections, streaks of dust and debris around the joints, corroded or rusted metal and a lack of insulation.
- Deteriorating air quality. Return ducts that are in poor condition can draw unhealthy and potentially-harmful contaminants into the air your family breathes. These can include backdrafting combustion fumes, dust, mold, bits of insulation, pollen, and rodent and insect droppings.
- Loss of comfort. Poor design, age-related deterioration, damage and leaks in the duct system can result in hot or cold spots, inconsistent temperatures and ineffective humidity control that erode your comfort.
If you’re concerned that the old ductwork in your Orlando home is deteriorating, contact us at Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions for an expert duct system assessment.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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