Mysterious HVAC Problems Could Be Caused by Leaking Ductwork
You can’t figure it out. Your thermostat seems to be working properly, you’ve streamlined your home to prevent needless energy waste and cut down on drafts. But still, your air conditioning never seems to be working effectively, even if it’s on when it should be. Your energy bills are higher than normal, but your indoor comfort always seems compromised. What the heck is the problem?
Have you checked your ductwork lately? The answer could be in faulty connections from duct to duct as cooled air (also known as “conditioned” air) passes through your system. If everything is working as it should be, most or all is coming through unobstructed and straight into your home. However, all it takes is one lost Los Angeles raccoon, a careless handyman or even continuous use of your system to cause a serious problem, especially if HVAC installation wasn’t done correctly in the first place.
Seals can be compromised, joints broken, and then you’re heating and cooling your attic, under the floor or the area behind your living room walls rather than interior living spaces. That’s nice if you happen to be a house spider or a mouse living back there, but for everyone else, it translates into a whole lot of wasted energy and little effective temperature control. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that up to 30% of your overall utility spend could be simply a result of air rushing into these unused spaces from ductwork gone bad.
But how to tell? Check these scenarios below to see if they apply to you.
Energy costs seem out of whack. Are you paying ridiculous amounts for heating and air conditioning? If you’ve already weatherproofed your home, fixing windows that won’t close, and eliminating cracks to the outside, and your utility bills still seem overly high for your geographical area, your payment history and your home size, it’s time to look at ductwork as a possible culprit.
Dust and dirt lurks throughout your home. Few people realize that malfunctioning ductwork could result in additional dust, dirt and environmental irritants blowing through their home. Broken seals, and improperly filtered air are both contributors. If your home seems dustier than normal, or you’re noticing funny smells, consider that your ductwork may have a break or a leak.
It’s also worth mentioning that bad ductwork can be dangerous, as it interferes with the appropriate venting of your appliances. Anything using gas (dryers, stoves, or water heaters) are typically vented with ductwork to send dangerous fumes outside. If your ductwork is broken, those fumes are going directly into your living areas.
Some rooms are harder to cool than others. People tend to blame this problem on home design, but quite often ductwork isn’t working properly in one area of your system, sending cooler air into your attic, basement or even outside instead of into the room in question. If you notice this, it’s time for a full HVAC checkup.
If any of these situations seem to be happening in your San Gabriel Valley home, it’s time for a full HVAC inspection from a licensed professional. The good news is that once it’s diagnosed, it can usually be fixed for a relatively low cost. Properly fitting ductwork will also result in lowered energy bills immediately, and enhanced indoor comfort. And in the world of HVAC repair and installation, that’s what’s known as a cool outcome!
Get the San Gabriel Valley’s number one resource for heating and air conditioning. Call Air-Tro today at (626) 357-3535.