cleaning air ducts with brush

How Do I Know if I Have Faulty Air Ducts?

Since air ducts stay hidden in your home, it’s easy to forget about them. Ductwork tends to be one of the most underappreciated components of HVAC systems. Your ducts play a huge part in your home's comfort, health, and energy efficiency.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 20 to 30 percent of the energy consumed by your HVAC system can be lost due to faulty ductwork. Any cracks, holes, tears, or loose joints in your air ducts can lead to poor air distribution & indoor air quality, higher energy bills, and reduced HVAC performance.

How Your Air Ducts Work

If you imagine your AC, furnace, or heat pump as the heart of your HVAC system, your ductwork works like veins. Air ducts pull the air from your home into your HVAC system through return ducts so it can be heated or cooled and cleaned. The clean air is then pumped back into the rooms of your home through supply ducts.

Signs of Faulty Ductwork

Now that you know how important your ductwork is for your home’s comfort, you need to know when it may need repair or replacement. Here are some common signs you may have faulty air ducts.

Low Airflow

Low airflow is one of the most common signs you may have faulty air ducts. If you hold your hand up to a vent and feel very little air coming out, it can signal leaky, blocked, or disconnected ductwork at a joint. Most airflow issues are caused by dirt and dust buildup in your duct system. Having your ducts cleaned by a professional can help avoid this.

Inconsistent Temperatures

Do you have areas in your home that are hotter or colder than others? Inconsistent temperatures signify that your ducts may be blocked, torn, or damaged, not evenly distributing air. Air is likely escaping your ductwork through cracks or gaps before it reaches the vents in your rooms. Your ducts may also be the wrong size to heat and cool your home efficiently. An HVAC inspection is the easiest way to find a solution for hot and cold spots in your home.

Higher Energy Bills

A sudden increase in your energy bills can be a tell-tale sign you have clogged or damaged ductwork. When you have unclean air ducts, your HVAC system must work harder due to dirt and dust obstructing the normal flow of air. This goes the same for air ducts that are damaged. When air leaks before reaching your vents, your system must work harder to compensate for the air loss. Higher energy bills may be a sign you need air duct cleaning or repair.

Musty Odor

Unpleasant smells and odors in your home can be a clear indicator you have defective air ducts. These musty odors can come from mold and mildew growth inside your ductwork. You will notice a musty odor coming through your vents when mold thrives. It is crucial to contact a professional that offers emergency services right away, as prolonged exposure to mold and mildew can be harmful to your health.

A Rise in Household Allergens

If you or members of your family suffer from household allergens or other respiratory problems all of the time, it’s time to schedule an HVAC inspection. Watery eyes, dry and itchy skin, coughing, sneezing, or a runny nose may result from toxic air circulating in your home. Cleaning dust- and allergen-filled air ducts can improve the air quality circulating through your home and provide some relief.

Schedule an HVAC Inspection

Your ductwork plays a crucial role in keeping you healthy at home. According to the CDC, four million Americans are sick each year due to poor indoor air quality. A simple inspection can make all the difference in ensuring your HVAC system is functioning correctly.

Schedule an appointment with our team at Comfort Experts Heating & Cooling for the peace of mind you deserve. Feel free to reach out to us at (803) 525-0074 or visit our website today!

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