Ductwork Obstructions and Air Conditioning Efficiency

Ductwork Obstructions Can Ruin a Home’s Efficiency — Common Issues

With rising energy bills a fact of modern life, we all want to do what we can to keep costs under control. In the pursuit of energy efficiency, an often overlooked quick fix can be a closer inspection of the duct systems in our homes. Ductwork obstructions are a major drag on energy efficiency, but the good news is that these problems are often easy to rectify.

Why Do Ducts Matter?

The duct system supplies cooled and heated air from the HVAC unit, to the rooms in our homes, and then returns it back to the unit again. This is a vital function and having the ducts working at maximum efficiency can really improve comfort, safety and air quality indoors.

Typical Blockages

When the duct system becomes blocked or obstructed, its efficiency is reduced. Well known ductwork issues include:

  • Check that furniture isn’t blocking the registers in rooms as this will impact on airflow.
  • Air filters can get sucked into the duct system and cause an obstruction. Left unchecked this can also present a fire hazard.
  • It is possible for the fire damper to get stuck in a closed or partially closed position. This interrupts airflow throughout the duct system.
  • Collapsed flex duct/insulation can block or stop airflow. Flex duct is particularly susceptible to collapse at bend points, and insulation may become loose.
  • Leaky ductwork is a major cause of inefficiency. Holes, loose joints and tears, particularly around ductwork connections, can develop over time and result in conditioned air escaping, often into parts of the house you don’t need heated and cooled (attics, garages, crawl spaces etc.). Left unchecked, humidity can also increase, causing mold and mildew problems. Sealing ducts, particularly at walls, floors and ceilings with a material such as mastic sealant or metal tape, is a smart move.

Dealing with ductwork issues is a no-brainer, if you want to improve your home’s efficiency. For more expert advice contact us at Gulf Coast Air Systems. We’ve been providing professional heating and cooling services to the Tampa Bay area for more than 30 years.

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