AC duct work: When to repair or replace ducted air conditioning?
If you have aging ac duct work, there’s a good chance it’s time to replace it along with wasted energy and unnecessarily high utility bills. Ducted air conditioning that are more than 10 years old and/or haven’t been well-maintained often suffer. Poor ac duct work design, leaks, inadequate insulation and airflow obstructions, will waste energy and reduce performance. They also create excess wear and tear on your HVAC system as it works to maintain your desired indoor temperatures. Plus, dirty ac duct work will compromise your indoor air quality.
Here are some common signs your aging ac duct work needs to be repaired and/or replaced.
System Age. Is your home 15 years old or more? If so, the ducted air conditioning system was probably designed more for cost effectiveness than energy efficiency. In the modern era, an experienced HVAC contractor will use Manual D to design an energy efficient ac duct system to meet your home’s heating and cooling needs.
High utility costs. If you are using your ducted air conditioning system as usual, but your utility bills continue to creep upwards, your ducts may be the problem. A poor duct design or ducts in need of maintenance will leak conditioned air and/or contribute to heat loss before the air ever reaches your living space.
Unbalanced air flow. Make sure all of your vents are in the open position and then walk from room to room while your ducted air conditioning system is running. Does the airflow feel balanced? If it seems like the air is blowing stronger or weaker or there are noticeable temperature fluctuations from room to room, it is worth it to have your ac ducts inspected.
Noticeable signs of corrosion or problems. You can make a simple inspection on your own by peeking into the attic, basement or crawl spaces and looking at the visible duct equipment. Do you see lines of dust streaking out from duct joints? This can be a sign of leaks. Look for obvious signs of corrosion, rust, peeling mastic tape or disconnected duct joints.