Does it feel like your AC isn’t cooling or heating? Sometimes your HVAC ductwork is the problem, something you may not have thought about and may not expect to be the reason.
If you feel your air conditioning units are not doing the work they used to do or are otherwise not bringing you the results you expect, then ductwork leakage or damage over time may be the cause. Ductwork damage, such as corrosion, holes, or gaps, can cause a very noticeable change in the efficiency of your cooling system.
Keeping the system sealed and clean, and inspecting it periodically can make a huge difference in the quality of work your unit is doing for your home. If your ducts don’t have mastic sealing, they could be drawing in attic air that is 150+ degrees or they could be leaking out your good cold air into the attic.
Dirty or failing ducts may be costing you a good chunk of money in energy costs, as it causes your air conditioning units to work harder to reach the settings you have set the temperature at.
According to the National Comfort Institute, the average duct system in U.S. is only 57% efficient due to several problems. An inadequate duct system is the single greatest problem. An improperly designed and maintained duct system cannot meet the required airflow to heat and cool your house efficiently even if your equipment is sized correctly and functioning properly.
Making sure your air is not escaping from improperly sealed registers, grills or duct leaks is critical for the system to work as intended. Seals throughout the system makes sure you will lose less air, which allows your rooms to be brought to a comfortable temperature with less work.
Testing ductwork quickly
Run your hands around the ducts while the unit is running and you can feel the air if you have a leak.
Most units are designed to leak specific amount of air, but the ducts should never leak.
Visibly inspect the insulation on the ducts
– Large, visible tears are an early warning sign
– Exposed inner liner is something that needs to be corrected ASAP
10% duct leakage is a 20% loss of cooling capacity. 50% duct leakage means ZERO cooling capacity. R4 duct insulation (1 inch) means about 20% loss of cooling capacity. R8 duct insulation (2 inches) means about 10% loss of cooling capacity.
Most older flex has the old grey skin on it and is inefficient and has been outlawed eventually per code. If you have metal duct and and there is a lot of leaks, you will want to have the work replaced with appropriate flexible duct work, and we would be glad to discuss your options with you.
Winter is a great time to get your HVAC ductwork revamped. Give us a call!