In the 1970s, central air conditioning systems became so popular that most newly-constructed houses started to be built with ductwork. The reason for the popularity is that it is a good system, and people really enjoy all the benefits of it. However, no system works forever with no issues. Ductwork can develop problems, often with age but sometimes due to specific damage in relatively-new ductwork. With ducts usually tucked away out of sight, how can you tell if there are problems? Keep an eye out for these signs that you need duct repair.
When ductwork has tears or cracks, air can be pulled in from areas like your attic or between your walls. This air is often full of dust and can include everything from pest mess to fibers of insulation. If you notice that your vents are particularly dusty, your air is cloudy with dust motes, or your AC or furnace air filter is heavily clogged with dust when you change it each month, you might have damage that requires duct repair in New Haven, CT.
Your furnace and air conditioner should make consistent, predictable humming and whirring sounds. Occasionally, abrupt changes in temperature may cause ductwork to make sounds as it expands and contracts. But if you’re hearing buzzing, rattling, or whistling sounds from your ducts, it’s not a good sign. Buzzing or rattling might just indicate that a screw needs to be tightened somewhere to prevent the duct from vibrating against structural elements in your home. Whistling is more likely to be caused by air being pushed or pulled through an opening that shouldn’t be there.
If a lot of air is being lost to holes in your ductwork, you might end up with not much air making it all the way to your vents. When you hold your hand up to a vent, there should be a strong stream of air. If it’s barely a trickle, something is wrong. Start by changing your air filter in case a clog there is preventing airflow. If the problem persists, it’s time for a professional to take a look at your ducts.
A problem with a duct in one part of your home might prevent airflow only to that area. If you can’t get your whole home to maintain a consistent temperature, it’s likely that specific ducts need some attention.
If the air coming from your vents has an unpleasant odor, there’s something unpleasant in there causing it. A rotten or trashy smell might be caused by rodent infestation. A mildew smell indicates that there’s mold growing somewhere, and since mold only grows where there’s adequate moisture to make a good mold habitat, there’s also water pooling in there.
In the areas where you can see the ductwork, how does it look? If you can see cracks or tears, if the ducts are tangled or kinked, or if there’s flaking or deterioration, it’s time for repairs. And if you know that your ductwork has been in place for multiple decades without being replaced or repaired, it’s definitely a good idea to have it inspected by a qualified technician.