Aging Ductwork: How to Tell When Yours Is Ready to Scrap


If you have aging ductwork, there’s a good chance it’s time to scrap it along with wasted energy and unnecessarily high utility bills. Ducts that are more than 10 years old and/or haven’t been well-maintained often suffer from poor design, leaks, inadequate insulation and airflow obstructions, all of which waste energy. They also create excess wear and tear on your HVAC system as it works to maintain your desired indoor temperatures. Plus, dirty ductwork will compromise your indoor air quality.

Here are some common signs your aging ductwork needs to be repaired and/or replaced.

System Age. Is your home 15 years old or more? If so, the duct 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 duct system to meet your home’s heating and cooling needs.

High utility costs. If you are using your HVAC 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 HVAC 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 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.

Contact Gulf Coast Air Systems if you suspect aging ductwork is compromising the energy efficiency of your Riverview area home.