We all tend to take our appliances, heating/cooling systems, and the air ducts in our homes for granted. When these home systems are running along smoothy and efficiently, we hardly even notice they are there. As a result we sometimes tend to forget maintaining them properly. Therefore the question is, do we as home owners know what the next few steps are to fixing any air duct issues we may encounter? Or do we know the steps we may need to take to resolve potential problems?
Each of us wants our home to run as cost effectively as possible. We also want the air conditioner to be humming along during the hot summer months with no issues. Additionally, our hope is that the furnace will be in great working order when the first cool night of the fall arrives. When we turn on our appliances, we simply expect they will work as they always have. Do we as a home owner know what to do, or who we can turn to if they don’t work as expected? In this article we will begin to give you some pointers to avoid air duct issues in your home. This will make sure that you have the most efficient heating and cooling systems in your home.
Improperly Designed Duct Work
If you live in an older home or one that has just recently been built, you should be familiar with the duct work installation. If the duct work in your home has an improper design or installation, the system will not be able to supply and return the necessary airflow. This will cause issues when cooling and heating your home efficiently and effectively. You should ensure the proper size of equipment is installed for the complete area of your home.
Leaking Duct Work
Approximately 20 to 40% of the air which goes through the duct work in most homes is lost. This surprisingly high number catches most home owners off guard. This causes major inefficiencies with the heating and cooling of our homes. If we are losing such a high percentage of the air we are trying to circulate, there may be leaking duct work which needs to be addressed. This is not only raising the bills, but is also putting undue strain on the heating and cooling equipment as well.
In order to prevent this from happening, you can have the duct work inspected for leaks. Leaks within your duct work can have the seal around them repaired, allowing more air currents to flow with ease to the different rooms in your home. Repairs to the leaking duct work will also put less stress on the heating or cooling unit itself. This will promote the air circulation in your home. It will also prolong the life of your heating and cooling systems.
Improperly Sealed Registers/Grills
If you have improperly sealed registers or grills, forced air can escape and not even make it into the desired rooms of your home. If there is not a proper seal between the duct work and the register or grill, the air can escape. Why pay for cool or hot air if it never makes it to the intended room? This is a common issue that most home owners are not aware of.
Well sealed registers and grills allow cool air to travel properly, without you having to change the thermostat. It is very important to make sure all the registers and grills in each area of the home have proper seals, and also that they don’t leak. It is also a good idea to ensure the registers are fully open and are free of blockages. Making this a seasonal routine is a good practice to get into the habit of.
Flexible Plastic Air Duct Issues
Flexible plastic air duct issues can be hoses which twist, crush or tear. Kinks or sharp corners can compromise air flow in duct work of any length. Take a close look at the duct work in your home when it’s under construction. Do so before the drywall installation, and during the entire building process. If you are doing any home renovations which allow you to view the duct work, take the time to assess it and make the necessary changes.
Duct work with cracks, twists, or other damage should be replaced or repaired as soon as possible. This will allow your heating and cooling systems to work as efficiently as possible, and allow the air to flow through without resistance or air loss. This will provide the desired temperatures according to the settings you have for each of the rooms of your home.
Insulation Around Your Duct Work
Improperly insulated duct work allows for the heated air in the winter to cool off more quickly. This will also be the case in the summer when the cool air is warming up due to poorly insulated ducts. Ensure you have proper insulation around your duct work, and that there are no areas missing insulation. This will ensure that your heating and cooling systems have the capability of working efficiently. Your heating and cooling costs will be more reasonable if you are not wasting the air that you have spent money on to heat or cool off. Certainly, saving money is always a good thing!
Cleaning to Avoid Air Duct Issues
Of course we all know that having dirt, pollutants and dust in the air ducts is not healthy. No one wants to live in an environment where dirt and dust particles are circulating through the air. Although most times it would not be noticeable. The dirt and dust from inside your air ducts will be circulating through your home. This happens each and every time heating or cooling systems are used. Therefore it is so important to have regular cleaning to avoid air duct issues. According to the National Air Duct Cleaning Association homeowners should have their air ducts cleaned every 3 to 5 years. As a very important side note, think of the additional health benefits. After all, a clean home is a healthy home!