Your home’s ductwork is vital to an HVAC system’s task of moving air throughout your living space. However, leaky air ducts make the process far less efficient and potentially more expensive for you and other homeowners in the greater Baton Rouge area. It’s common for ductwork to give way to wear and tear, especially in older homes. But newer houses are not exempt from leaks.
Apart from air duct cleaning, identifying leaky ductwork is one of the most vital maintenance areas. So, it would help if you familiarized yourself with the telltale signs of this problem to solve it as quickly as possible. Let us give you the rundown on leaky air ducts, how they can affect your home, and how to fix the issue.
Identifying Signs of Leaky Air Ducts
Air duct leaks can start small, with subtle issues that you could be dismissing. Not paying attention to them can be detrimental to the long-term health of your HVAC system. So here are some of the most common signs of leaky air ducts.
Inconsistent Cooling and Comfort in Rooms
If there are rooms in your home that seem to cool down faster or more consistently than others when the A/C is on, that is the most common tell that your air duct needs attention. Your A/C should distribute the cold air evenly throughout the ducts and the vents around your home. Leaks prevent that air from moving through parts of the ductwork efficiently, leading to uneven cooling.
Spike in Energy Bills
Even if you don’t notice a vast difference in how hot or cool the rooms of your house get, you will eventually see the disparity when the energy bill comes due. Because leaks prevent air from cooling rooms efficiently, your air conditioner or central air unit must run longer to reduce the temperature. This issue is becoming more widespread and apparent with the increase of automated cooling systems and smart thermostats in homes around Baton Rouge.
It’s normal for energy bills to increase during the summer months. However, consistent spikes in the amount of your bill are an indication that something is wrong.
Excess Dust and Poor Indoor Air Quality
It’s normal for dust to accumulate in your home. However, if you notice large amounts of dust gathering in certain places, that could be a sign that you have a leaky air duct. Gaps or holes in your ductwork don’t just let the air out; they can also allow dust and dirt in. From there, these particulates will travel through your ducts to emerge from vents.
In addition to dust, gaps in your air vents can pick up fumes or smoke, reducing the air quality in your home. This issue can negatively impact your health if you experience breathing issues. Monitor your indoor air quality to catch this telltale sign of leaky ductwork.
Frequent Need for HVAC Repairs
As an A/C system ages, the need for repairs and maintenance increases. However, if you notice an uptick in the amount of repairs, you should take a look at your air ducts.
Leaky ducts lead to inefficient air circulation, causing your A/C to run longer. The longer it runs, the more the parts wear down until you need to call a professional. Air duct maintenance will help prevent you from paying more for A/C repair costs and higher energy bills.
The Consequences of Neglecting Air Duct Leaks
Leaks in your air ducts are no different from any other maintenance issue in your home. Ignoring the problem will only make it worse as time goes on. If you discover a leaky air duct, you should address it immediately; otherwise, you could face the following consequences.
Impact on Home Comfort and Efficiency
You should be comfortable in your home, and that includes being able to enjoy air conditioning during the summer months. When the temperature rises, efficient cooling will help prevent you from feeling the heat unless you have leaky air ducts. Inefficient home cooling may leave you sweltering for longer than you should.
In addition to discomfort with the weather, increased energy bills will negatively impact your finances. You shouldn’t have to put off summer plans or limit your spending just to afford to keep your home cool.
Long-Term Damage to HVAC System
Your HVAC is a complex mechanical system of multiple parts that all work together to regulate your home’s temperature. The harder it has to work, the more likely something will break down. And few things cause your HVAC system to work harder than a leak in your air duct.
Routine HVAC maintenance can increase the lifespan of your system, but ignoring underlying issues like leaky air ducts will eventually undo any preventative measures you take. Over time, parts will wear out and need replacement to mitigate the long-term damage to your HVAC system.
Professional Solutions for Leaky Ducts
Once you’ve identified the signs of a leaky air duct, the next step is to resolve the situation before you experience long-term problems. Fortunately, you don’t have to tackle the issue alone. Calling in a professional offers you a range of options for detecting the exact nature of the leak and repairing it quickly.
Importance of Regular Duct Inspection
A professional inspection allows someone to evaluate your entire HVAC system to find issues that you could miss. Air duct leaks can be subtle, requiring a trained eye to find in time. In addition, an HVAC professional can recommend an appropriate course of action if they find any significant problems with your ductwork.
Methods of Detecting and Repairing Duct Leaks
If you suspect you have a leaky air duct, there are ways to determine the severity of the leak and where the issue lies. A professional can use several methods to detect a leak in your air duct, including:
- Physically looking for holes, tears, or separations in the ductwork.
- Evaluating areas that received maintenance for any new or missed damage.
- Inspecting the joints where two sections of ductwork meet.
- Using a device called a smoke pencil to detect disturbances in the air by blowing smoke over sections of your air duct.
When a leak occurs during an inspection, the primary repair method is to cover the area with metallic foil tape to help seal the duct. Sometimes, a technician may apply a special mastic over the tape and duct joints to ensure the seal lasts.
Benefits of DuctServ’s Air Duct Cleaning Services
Regular air duct cleaning comes with multiple benefits for your home and family. Fortunately, DuctServ provides some of the most trusted HVAC cleaning services in the greater Baton Rouge area. Our friendly and knowledgeable team utilizes some of the latest equipment to ensure your home’s best indoor air quality.
If your HVAC system and ductwork need a professional touch, please contact us today. You can give us a call at 225-572-6678 or fill out our online contact form to request a quote or make an appointment.