Five Duct Deficiencies That Could Lead to Problems With Your HVAC
If you are not receiving adequate hot or cool air in your house, if the air smells musty (like a high school gym locker room) or if you notice hot and cold spots around the place, it may not be your HVAC unit that is lacking but your duct system.
Good ductwork is indispensable for getting appropriate conditioned air from your HVAC system into all rooms of the house. Any problem in the ducts could lead to bad odor, undesirable humidity levels, or even weird noises (you don’t want that because if there is a weird noise you don’t want to always assume it’s nothing).
Understanding HVAC problems and their causes begins from understanding what could be wrong with your ducts.
Here are five duct deficiencies that cause multiple problems in your HVAC system.
- Unclean ducts
When ducts are dirty or clogged, it will be difficult for conditioned air to circulate through them, not allowing your rooms to become as hot or cold as you would want them to be. The HVAC system then has to work harder to compensate for the lack of adequate indoor temperature.
This raises your energy bills but you still do not get the environment you want. In addition to temperature issues, you will also end up inhaling unclean air that could be very risky for certain members of the family.
- Leaking ducts
Sometimes, you can see no apparent problem in the working of your system. That is because there is no problem. Your air conditioner for example is functioning well. The problem lies in the ducts that carry conditioned air to every room of the house.
Any leakage or holes in these ducts will cause conditioned air to escape. In this case, hardly any conditioned air will reach the air vents that circulate it into the rooms.
Your HVAC system keeps working to create more conditioned air but it gets lost to the environment and wasted. Also, cracks in the ductwork can cause air to escape and make weird whistling noises which can undermine your quality of life and give your friends something to bother you about. Sheet metal ducts may create popping sounds due to air pressure problems.
- Moisture in the ducts
Ducts are not open to fresh air. Often moisture can be found inside ducts. With time, this moisture gives rise to mold and other bacteria. This causes a musty smell in the air that is being circulated. So, your rooms never smell fresh despite cool air being blown into it.
- Rodent deposits in the ductwork
There is a possibility that insects, small rodents, and vermin are residing in your ducts. Their droppings, eggs, or dead remains can contribute to bad odors and diseases. We have all seen the outstanding and riveting movie Contagion.
These odors have no place to escape and so they get mixed with the conditioned air reaching air vents; causing you to experience foul smells in the house, that seem to have no obvious source.
- Other pollutants circulating in the ducts
Apart from mold or insects, your ducts could have allergens, contaminated air, pet hair, dust, VOCs (Volatile Organic Compound) that are released when products like paint, varnish, cleaning fluids, pesticides, or ink are used. These keep circulating inside the ducts and enter your rooms when the conditioned air comes out of the registers.