There’s a component of the forced-air HVAC system that’s typically tucked out of sight and goes largely unnoticed. When it’s underperforming, as it does in the average home, other systems are often blamed, such as the A/C or heat pump, for poor indoor air quality, discomfort and high energy bills. When was the last time you had a ductwork inspection?
Over time, ductwork systems accumulate debris, seals loosen, tape and ducts may fall away, and some ducts may become damaged. If you’ve noticed any of the following circumstances and conditions, it’s a good idea to inspect the air ducts:
- Loose ducts often rattle and clamor.
- Uneven airflow from the diffusers is a sign of air leaks and fallen ducts.
- Uneven temperatures from the diffusers is a sign of inadequate duct insulation.
- Accumulation around the diffusers and debris discharge indicates dirty ducts.
- Musty odors from ducted airflow indicates mold and mildew.
- High energy bills often points to the ductwork.
Leaky and uninsulated air ducts waste energy and contribute to poor indoor air quality. A thorough ductwork inspection is best performed by an HVAC professional, but you can do a basic inspection using the following tips:
- You’ll need a flashlight, smoke pencil and proper safety wear for venturing into the attic or crawl space.
- Visually inspect all accessible ductwork for damaged and inadequate insulation. Wet or damp insulation is considered damaged, since it can no longer maintain its R-value.
- With the cooling or heating system running, use a smoke pencil to find air leaks at duct seams.
- Look for disconnected or fallen air ducts.
- Back in the living spaces, remove two or three diffusers and the return grille and air filter. Using the flashlight, peer into the ducts and look for debris and mold accumulation on the walls.
- Inspect the evaporator coil for debris, mold and mildew. If components are contaminated, you may expect the same or more of the ductwork.
For more information about a ductwork inspection, or to schedule professional ductwork service for your Sarasota and Bradenton area home, contact Aqua Plumbing & Air.
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