Your HVAC system probably sees a lot of action – especially in the heat of an Austin summer! Champion AC & Plumbing encourages AC maintenance and care because we never want to see our customers in a bind or uncomfortable in the middle of summer. A huge part of your AC system is often overlooked and forgotten about – the ducts! Without healthy ductwork, your HVAC system is absolutely useless and can’t deliver conditioned air to your home.
Ducts are purposely designed to be hidden in the attic and walls which unfortunately makes them easy to forget about. Ducts are a big source of air leaks as well, resulting in massive energy loss as your cooled air escapes through leaks or holes. Your ducts, just like any other parts of your heating and cooling system, need to be maintained, and sometimes they need to be replaced.
Common Warnings That You Need New Air Ducts
Similar to AC systems, ductwork has an average lifespan of 10 years. With proper maintenance and care it may last longer, but as time goes on, the seals and seams of your ducts will deteriorate. This fatigue leads to a reduction in all functions, including proper delivery of conditioned air to your home. Once your air ducts reach 10 years old, it’s important to watch for any other signs of degradation.
The prime function of air ducts is to provide a consistent level of air to your home. If you notice your AC struggling or varying airflow from your vents it could be because of a problem with the ducts. Old, damaged, or clogged ducts will definitely affect your home’s comfort and the health of your AC as it struggles to move air around the obstacle.
As mentioned above, older air ducts simply begin to wear out over time. The seals and joints can experience wear and tear that may lead to leaks and holes. These tiny pathways for air to escape may seem like minor problems, but over time they can become a leading source of energy waste in your home. Plus, your AC unit uses a considerable amount of energy to condition your air, and if it’s leaking out of the ducts that just means your AC has to continuously replace the lost air. Your utility bills will reflect this inefficiency.
Dents and holes can form rather easily in your ducts. Ducts are designed to be flexible in order to run throughout your home, but that also means pests and weather can affect the material more easily. If a large portion of your ductwork has been eaten by animals or damaged by falling debris, it could be more cost effective to replace those sections – and possibly the entire network if it is older.
One of the most dangerous biological contaminants that can grow in your AC system and ducts is mold. Mold usually produces a sour or mildewy smell that you may be able to recognize. When mold has infiltrated your air system, spores are likely to blow into your breathable air every single day and lower your indoor air quality. Call a professional to determine if your ducts can be cleaned, or if the growth is enough to replace the affected ducts.
While your ducts don’t actually move like the machinery inside the AC unit, obstructions within the ducts can make strange noises as well. As air moves past or around obstacles in the ducts you may hear odd noises that indicate a problem.
When your ducts were initially installed, it is possible that they were installed improperly. If your ducts are an inadequate size for your air conditioning needs or were incorrectly installed, you’ll need professional evaluation to determine the best course of action.
Ready To Replace Your Air Ducts?
The professional team at Champion AC & Plumbing is your best option for air duct replacement and recommendation. Our team is dedicated to Austin’s healthy, consistent, indoor air and we always do the job the right way. Give us a call!