When it comes to your home's heating and air conditioning system, one area that is often overlooked, but is extremely critical, is airflow.
Duct systems are designed to properly distribute air throughout your home. The condition of your ductwork is VERY important because it delivers warm or cold air to every room in your home. Troubles with your ductwork can shorten your HVAC system's life by forcing it to work harder. It can also make your home less comfortable, cause high utility bills, and poor indoor air quality.
The efficiency of your air distribution system may be insufficient because of inadequate design, poor installation, and aging or damaged ducts.
Proper duct design promotes lower operating costs, better air quality, and enhanced comfort. There are several variables that a contractor must consider when designing (and sizing) a duct system for your home, including:
type of ductwork being installed (metal, flexible, etc.)
size and airflow requirements for each room
layout of your home
HVAC equipment installed
length of each duct
location of each supply and return
Flexible duct should be installed in tight, straight runs with gradual turns and should be properly supported to eliminate sagging. Kinked or sagging ductwork can cause increased resistance in your duct system, resulting in a lack of airflow. Too little airflow reduces the system's capacity and efficiency and means that some rooms may not get enough warm or cool air, leaving your family uncomfortable.
While improperly installed duct can have the short-term result of not providing enough heating and cooling to a space, there are long-term problems that may develop:
Air Conditioning - When an air conditioner operates at less than expected airflow across the coil, it will result in a lower coil temperature and frost build-up. The system will run longer, with little or no effect on comfort, and will be detrimental to your air conditioner's compressor.
Heating - When your furnace operates with low airflow, it can cause the furnace to overheat and cut out on limit. Over time, the furnace could suffer premature cracks to the heat exchanger.
Aging or Damaged Ducts
Whether you're concerned with poor indoor air quality or uncomfortable temperatures, leaky ducts can cause a wide range of problems in your home.
In most homes, HVAC systems lose an average of 20-30% of the energy they generate through leaky ductwork. Heated or cooled air can leak from your ductwork into your attic, basement, crawlspace, or garage causing your system to work harder to keep your family comfortable. A longer running time means higher energy bills.
In addition to the loss of conditioned air, negative air pressure can suck in dirty air, dust, debris, and other nasty contaminates and distribute them into your home.
If your ductwork is over 15 years old, it is probably beginning to deteriorate, significantly reducing your system's efficiency, and should be replaced soon.
IF YOU SUSPECT YOUR HVAC SYSTEM IS NOT OPERATING TO ITS BEST CAPACITY, CALL HELMS HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING FOR AN INSPECTION. ONE OF OUR EXPERTS CAN IDENTIFY AREAS THAT CAN BE IMPROVED AND PROVIDE A SOLUTION TO REMEDIATE THE PROBLEMS.