The last time you called in for air conditioning service in Callaway, FL, it was hopefully explained to you that various parts of your system will wear out as time passes. This is why your system needs maintenance and might even require the occasional repair call. That’s all well and good when talking about your air conditioner or heater, but did they happen to say the same thing about the ducts?
The ducts are the series of vents that transport conditioned air through your home. They may not have moving parts, but they play just as vital a role as the rest of the HVAC system itself.
That means there’s also a time where ducts will need to be replaced. We’ll explain further down below.
Ducts Don’t Last Forever?
We know we don’t have to tell you that nothing lasts forever, but it can still be surprising that a duct system would eventually need replacement. After all, if there are no moving parts, if it’s not exposed to the elements, and if it stays out of sight and touch from people, then how could it ever fall into disrepair?
There are a few different ways that can happen:
1. Tears and Disconnects
Flexible ducts consist of a metal coil wrapped with insulation. These can develop tears or rips as time progresses. As for fully metal ducts, the adhesives that keep sections of them together can degrade, eventually creating leaks.
Leaks in your air ducts will send a lot of good air outside the ducts, thus contributing to overall loss of efficiency (and higher energy bills!). However, they can also pull in dust and dirt from the attic or crawl space, and that can lower your overall indoor air quality through the home.
2. Mold and Mildew Growth
Is your air conditioner blowing out a bad smell? You could have mold in your ducts! Especially in states like Florida were the air is very humid, warm air blowing through the ducts can create condensation. Combine that with dust and dirt, and you have a formula for mold and mildew. Replacing the infected piece of ductwork is the best bet for getting rid of this health hazard entirely.
3. Poor Installation
While this isn’t technically a case of the ducts falling into disrepair due to natural causes, a poor installation can speed up that process substantially.
When an HVAC technician installs ductwork, it needs to be designed according to the layout of the home’s attic or crawlspace. Good design means laying the ducts out in the most direct way possible. More bends and turns mean a less direct path for the air to flow, and if the turns are too sharp, it can wear on the material faster. It’s also not unheard of to have a less than reputable contractor using cheap materials that degrade before too long.
Is It Time to Replace?
To recap, some of the signs that your ducts might be in trouble include higher than usual energy bills lower indoor air quality. Not just that, but increased cooling power coming from the vents is also an indication that you have leaky ducts.