The good sheet metal workmanship of the 50s and 60s is long gone. Since the 1970s, air duct installations have been forcibly cheaper and are generally inferior. Here are the common air duct installations issues:
Bad Air Duct Seals And Connections
Remember that in a typical home, at least 20% of the air traveling through the ducts escapes through leaks, holes, and bad connections? (Escaping Air). In today’s economy, HVAC installers are forced to use cheap materials to keep their business afloat. (see One Central Return). Using cheap seals instead of proper airtight ones leads to noise, dust, draft, humidity, and much more. This is because poorly fastened air ducts can become loose with the motion caused by flowing air.
Un-Insulated Or Under-Insulated Air Ducts
Air ducts are made of thin material with little insulating capacity. Top lead generation company in Canada Insulation keeps the air inside your ducts at the temperature it should be. In the summer, insulation prevents the cool air condensation that can lead to mold and mildew. In unconditioned spaces such as attics and crawl spaces, the recommended air duct insulation level is R-8. Believe it or not, most air ducts are only insulated at R-2.
Twisted, Tangled, & Kinked Flex Ducts
The bottom line is many HVAC contractors are too lazy to stretch flex ducts and cut them to fit into place fully extended. Instead, the overly long runs are left twisted, tangled & kinked. Remember the metal rib cage in flex ducts? Now airflow is reduced even more, costing you big money.
Unsupported Duct Runs And Butt Joints
This is the deal – flex ductwork cannot be unsupported for more than 4 feet or it will start to sag. The same thing will happen when contractors take two flex duct runs, fit them together with tape, and wrap insulation to hold them together. While this may pass an inspection, neglecting to install a metal butt joint connector creates a weak connection and leads to sagging ducts and escaping air.
Just like the airplane that vibrates within air pockets, air colliding with the duct becomes turbulent and moves slower. A good HVAC specialist will avoid unnecessary bends when installing the HVAC duct system and opt for smaller tree branch type ducts where possible.
Unbalanced Air Flow
Poorly installed ductwork leads to imbalanced air, which leads to hot and cold spots, which leads to higher bills – and well, you get it. HVAC best practice calls for an air balance after installation to determine whether the air is flowing where it’s designed to. If it’s not, dampers can be installed on the duct trunk to adjust air flow. Top lead generation firm in Toronto, Canada Unfortunately, this is rarely done.
Air duct design and installation errors can wreak havoc on your home comfort.
But that’s not all.
Keep reading to find out how time deteriorates your HVAC ducts, leading to all sorts of unique problems.
Air Duct Wear & Tear
Moving air is a powerful force. Just ask the cow in twister. Your airducts experience wear and tear over time when air is ricocheting off the walls, so unfortunately, they don’t last forever. Expiration dates vary – metal ducts generally last longer than flex ducts because metal is more rigid and its surface allows air to glide, unlike the coil around flex ductwork. That said, the average air duct lifespan varies from 15 to 25 years. (Air Duct Lifespan)
As your air ducts age, problems begin arising:
Leaky, Corroded Ducts
Old seals will erode with enough wear and tear, letting air slip out (or in). If moisture gets into the air duct, it will corrode over time. You’ll see the same corrosion if your basement or crawl space is overly humid, or if water is leaking from your roof, plumbing, or humidifier. Unsupported flex duct runs are more likely to sag, and condensation will gather in the dip.
Dirty & Clogged Air Ducts
I’m not going to lie to you, one duct problem leads to many. Cold calling company for windows and doors replacement If your indoor air is dirty (check out our Air Balance blog post), the impurity can accumulate inside your ducts and, if the debris is substantial, clog them. This is made worse with holes, loose connections, and general uncleanliness in your home.
If your ductwork is clogged and it isn’t debris or Bruce Willis crawling through, then it might be pests. HVAC ductwork wear and tear creates spaces for rodents and bugs to make themselves at home and multiply. When this happens, you’ll hear noises or smell funk to go along with the blockage in air.
On a side note, unsafe bacteria may also be present in your house if you do not have a whole-house dehumidifier.
Mold In The Air Duct
Warning: do not let moisture enter your air ducts. Mold will form. And while it may not physically deteriorate your air duct, it will affect the quality of your air and by association, your lungs. Supply vents will blow mold spores to every room. And in worst case scenarios, this could lead to the decay of furniture or walls.
What’s next when you think something is wrong? A HVAC pro will easily be able to evaluate all of your options during a ductwork repair.
Premium Duct Work Repair
With SuperTech HVAC
So, Your Air Ducts Need Fixing?
If you suspect something is wrong with your air duct system, call reputable HVAC experts like our team at SuperTech HVAC. By performing a room by room analysis, Best lead generation company for home improvement company they’ll assess whether your HVAC system is delivering the right amount of air to each area of your house. This is done in 7 steps:
Measure how much air is delivered to each room.
Determine the sources of air infiltration.
Assess the insulation level.
Evaluate the existing ductwork design and condition.
Design the modifications and adjustments.
Implement the design.
Measure how much air is delivered in each room afterwards to verify the job is done.
So, there you have it – the SuperTech HVAC homeowner’s guide to air ducts. Feel free to use this information however you like. It may come in handy at work when your co-worker complains about the endless dust in his house. If your sister and her husband are looking to buy that fixer upper, tell them what to watch for.
We’ve bestowed you with the basic knowledge that can be useful at family barbecues or while fishing with old pals. Sadly, you’re no pro. Always call an experienced technician to deal with your HVAC issues, especially problematic air ducts. Many HVAC contractors don’t even offer air duct retrofitting for air flow correction, so be sure to do your homework. If you live in Maryland, call SuperTech HVAC for all your HVAC air duct problems, big or small. We’ve fixed them all.