Ductwork is an integral part to any HVAC unit. Ductwork refers to the system of ducts (metal or synthetic tubes) used to transport air from heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning equipment throughout your home. There are several signs it’s time to replace your ductwork: age, poor airflow, poor cooling performance, dents and punctures, mold and odors, noisy operation, and lastly improper design and installation.
What are some common problems that occur from ductwork that needs to be replaced?
Problems that can be caused by faulty or damaged ductwork include low airflow, low efficiency and high amounts of air leakage from the restricted sections of ductwork. A leak in your air ducts could mean that the cool air being circulated by the HVAC system is escaping the ductwork into attic or wall space, which results in certain areas of your home not receiving the cool airflow. Damage to your air ducts can cause a whistling sound in your HVAC system. Ductwork damage is not uncommon as your system ages. Another unusual noise that can be caused by your air ducts may come from rectangular sheet ducts making a popping sound when there is a change in air pressure. Air duct issues commonly cause these bothersome sounds in your system.
Are there any quick fixes that can help your ductwork last another month or two?
More than likely, damaged ductwork requires a professional’s diagnosis and repair. You can be injured, or cause further damage to your system attempting to repair your ductwork with no experience. Many articles encouraging DIY fixes can cause further damage, and often misdiagnose what is actually occurring with your unit. Always consult a professional as it is safer and will save your time and money in the future.
Should you have a professional HVAC company replace your ductwork, or can any general contractor install new ductwork?
Although replacing ductwork can be done as a DIY project, it is a delicate and extensive project that requires some prior knowledge of how the construction of HVAC systems works. It is best done with the help of experienced contractors if you do choose to take on the task yourself, which can greatly reduce the problems you encounter. Improper installation can impede the airflow and reduce the efficiency of your HVAC system overall. How your new ducts are installed will determine how well your HVAC system cools your home, making them an integral part of saving energy and money in the long run. Ducts must be sealed, balanced, and insulated properly to gain optimally cooled and heated air travel. For this reason, we recommend hiring trained professionals. Experts know how to safely remove old ductwork in a timely manner, while also knowing how to configure your new duct system to work best to fit your needs. Safe removal of old ducts reduces the risk of health issues, as many older homes and HVAC systems contain ducts that involve asbestos and fiberglass insulation. If you are not accustomed to working with the safe removal of these products, you pose a risk of exposure to toxic material and subsequent respiratory distress. These older systems and their insulation must also be responsibly disposed of, which requires knowledge of disposal law and how to ensure that you comply. Efficiency is the second but equally important reason to leave this job to those who know it best. Leaks, holes, and improper connections can lead to a loss of up to 30% of conditioned (cooled) air. This translates to your HVAC unit working longer and harder to cool your home with the same results. It is easy to kink, pinch, or puncture ductwork when you are not experienced with installation. Unfortunately, these little mistakes can cost you energy, money, and comfort once you are done.