HVAC systems that use a network of ducts to conduct heated and conditioned air are extremely common and have been for half a century. It’s a great way to get air that’s the exact temperature you want all throughout your home. But every good thing comes with some risks or downsides. According to the US Department of Energy, “ducts that leak heated air into unheated spaces can add hundreds of dollars a year to your heating and cooling bills.” Even if you had that kind of money, you could surely think of better ways to spend it.
What can be done to repair HVAC duct leaks? How did your ducts sustain damage to begin with? If you understand the causes, you might be able to prevent duct leaks from happening in the future.
All About Ducts
In the 1970s, the newly available central air conditioning systems made it popular to have ductwork integrated into the construction of new homes. This means it was most popular in warmer climates where air conditioning was most desirable. Many homes still have their original ductwork in place.
Ductwork can be made of many substances including steel, fiberglass, and fiberboard (which is glass fibers embedded in resin, almost like a glass version of plywood). Flexible ducts are a coil of wire that supplies the structure, covered with a plastic polymer. Naturally, this means that the types of damage ducts are vulnerable to can vary a lot.
How Duct Damage Is Repaired
The first step to repairing damaged ducts is a thorough inspection. In fact, even if you’re not sure you have significant duct problems, it’s a good idea to have your ducts checked out regularly. This way you won’t have damage you’re unaware of that’s costing you hundreds of dollars a year.
Once the damage is assessed, your technician can explain your options. When damage is limited to specific spots, the cracks or holes can be sealed individually. DIY repairs with duct tape are not recommended! Despite the name, duct tape quickly dries and flakes away when exposed to the fluctuating temperatures of ducts, so high-quality sealants are necessary for repairs that last. Extensive damage to a section of ductwork can be remedied by replacing that section. Only in cases of widespread damage would it be necessary to perform complete air duct replacement in Sterling, VA.
How Duct Damage Is Caused
One of the biggest issues is an HVAC system that’s poorly sized for the home. This puts tremendous pressure on the ductwork (as well as the heater and air conditioner) and can cause air pressure issues inside the ducts that can do actual damage. And since this HVAC system is brand new, homeowners sometimes don’t realize that something is wrong. All that noise from the ducts? Well, that’s just how the HVAC system sounds. Don’t make this mistake!
Other causes of damage include pests, mishaps during home repairs or renovations, and even extreme heat, if your ducts go through your attic. Simple age can also be the cause of deterioration, so it’s particularly critical to have your ducts checked as they get old.
AllTech Services, Inc. is your trusted resource for duct repair and replacement. Contact us today!