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4 Signs There’s a Problem with Your Home’s Ductwork

    There’s more to maintaining indoor comfort than a home’s furnace and air conditioner. In a forced-air HVAC system, even the best, most efficient heating and cooling units can’t do the job well if there’s a problem with the air ducts. Leaks, physical damage, and improper ductwork sizing can all have a negative impact on the air quality and indoor comfort of your home.

    Here are four signs your ductwork may need attention.

    • Dusty home – Excessive dust despite regular house cleaning is often a sign of leaky ducts. Holes in the air ducts or leaks at duct joints allow dirt and dust to get in the ductwork. The dirt and dust are then blown throughout the home each time your HVAC’s system fan goes on.

    Aside from being a housekeeping burden, excessive dust can aggravate respiratory problems as well as damage heating and cooling equipment.

    • Uneven heating and cooling – Are some areas of your home consistently colder in the winter and hotter in the summer than others? If the problem has existed for as long as you can remember, it’s likely due to inadequate ductwork. If the problem is new, recent damage to ductwork may be the cause.
    • Noisy central air system ­– If it gets noisy whenever your furnace or AC comes on, chances are your ductwork is undersized.
    • Unreasonably high energy usage – Leaks, poor design, and inadequate sizing can cause ductwork to distribute conditioned air to places where you don’t need or want it to go, such as the attic. This means your HVAC system works harder to maintain comfortable temperatures, which in turn drives up your energy consumption.

    If you have any of these problems, call in an HVAC pro.

    A reputable, licensed heating and cooling professional knows how to inspect and test ductwork and will be able to recommend the best course of action. The solution may be to replace all or part of the ductwork or it might simply require a repair. Either way, your HVAC equipment and indoor comfort will benefit.

    Comfort Zone’s Travis Hoffmeier explains the importance of properly functioning ductwork.