Ductwork Maintenance: 6 Tips For Identifying Potential Trouble Spots
The ductwork running through your home is a common source of energy waste in your heating and air conditioning system. Proper ductwork maintenance should be performed annually to find and repair trouble spots before they cause more problems or waste even more energy. Here are six things to look for while examining any exposed spans of ductwork.
- Torn or damaged flexible ducts: Ducts in the crawlspace and attic are often composed of a flexible material that moves slightly as air passes through it. Over time, this movement may cause kinking and sagging that can tear or otherwise damage the ducts. Ductwork maintenance to fix the problem may include securing sagging ducts before they tear.
- Ducts lying on the floor: The flexible ducts in the crawlspace or attic are sometimes placed haphazardly on the floor, where rodents can get inside or water can cause damage. These ducts should be secured above the floor whenever possible.
- Lack of insulation: All exposed metal ducts should be insulated, especially if they run through unconditioned spaces. Keep in mind that some spans of ductwork may be insulated on the interior. Simply tap the outside to test this. If it sounds hollow and tinny, it’s likely that no insulation is installed.
- Loose insulation: Insulation that has not been properly attached can come loose over time. Secure any sagging insulation with foil tape to ensure it stays in place permanently.
- Dirty insulation: If you see dark stains on patches of insulation, then that means your ductwork is not properly sealed and air, along with dirt and dust, is passing through the insulation. Ductwork maintenance should include removing the stained insulation, sealing the ductwork, and replacing the insulation.
- Peeling duct tape: Despite its name, duct tape should never be used to seal ductwork. Any old duct tape and residue should be removed and replaced with duct mastic, a permanent duct-sealing solution that will not peel or crack over time.
For more ductwork maintenance tips, or for more advice on other heating and cooling topics, please contact Air-Tro Inc. We have served the Pasadena area for more than four decades.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Los Angeles, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about ductwork maintenance and other HVAC topics, visit our website.
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