Air conditioning systems are divided between ducted and ductless. As the name implies, ducted air conditioning systems use ducts to transport warm or cool air across the property. Given the crucial role and nature of the HVAC ductwork in conditioning your home, you’ll want to ensure it stays clean and in good shape.
Most homeowners tend to neglect their ductwork when it comes to maintenance. In most cases, homeowners are usually clueless about the existence of any ductwork damage. However, ensuring proper attention to your air conditioning ductwork is important to ensure proper airflow and air conditioning.
This requires understanding the common causes of ductwork damage and telltale signs. It also requires prompt, expert air conditioning repair to help contain the damage and reduce the need for replacements. Check out this guide on ductwork problems and what to expect if you use ducted air conditioning systems in Dallas, TX.
Common Air Duct (Ductwork) Problems
Are you experiencing any AC failure? Perhaps it is time to consider emergency air conditioning repair. Unfortunately, since you may not know much about AC damages, it may be hard to diagnose the exact problems.
In some cases, you may have an issue with your thermostat, condenser, or any other part of the air conditioner, such as the ductwork. Though not as common, air duct problems exist and form part of the major AC failures.
Typical air duct problems we repair for most of our clients in Dallas, TX include:
- Dirty Air Ducts
Dirty ductwork is one of the most common air duct problems, majorly due to negligence by homeowners. Unfortunately, due to dirty ductwork, the conditioned air does not always flow strongly from the vents due to dirt clogs.
Besides blocking the conditioned air from getting to you, dirty ductwork may irritate your allergies. Cleaning your air ducts regularly as part of maintenance from your air conditioning helps keep your air free from germs, allergens, and other contaminants.
It also keeps the air conditioning from overworking, which reduces your home’s energy efficiency. Our Dallas, TX air conditioning repair experts use specialized tools and techniques to clean your air ducts and keep them functioning properly.
- Leaking Ductwork
Leaks are among the leading factors that reduce a fixture’s energy efficiency and prompt high utility bills. Depending on your AC’s design, the system may be set to fail even before you turn on the AC. Disconnected or loose ductwork may cause air leakages into the open spaces, thus affecting your indoor air quality.
Air conditioning experts estimate that the average American home loses approximately 20-40% of the air circulating via leaking air ducts. The result is major energy inefficiency in your AC system. Additionally, leaking air ducts may cause your system to overwork itself in a bid to compensate. Regardless of how sizable the air duct is, our air conditioning repair experts can fix it in the shortest time possible.
- Poorly Sealed Grills and Registers
Improperly sealed registers may cause plenty of costly repairs from your air conditioning repair service. For instance, air can be distributed into the wrong, unintended zones if the ductwork is not sealed completely. The result is your AC overworking itself to compensate for the temperature swing. This places a lot of wear on your air conditioner, significantly reducing the AC’s lifespan.
Poorly sealed grills and registers may cause you to pay a lot in electric bills since the unit pushes more air than necessary. In addition, since your air ducts are open, pests, debris, critters, and unwanted creatures are highly likely to intrude, leading to potential damage, discomfort, and a health hazard. Contact our air conditioning repair contractors to check for improperly sealed registers and grills and provide an immediate remedy.
- Insufficient Airflow (Twists and Kinks)
If you are using flexible ductwork, ensure no kinks, twists, or unexpected obstructions hindering proper airflow. Unfortunately, flexible ductwork may get crushed, leading to major issues with conditioned airflow. Inadequate airflow may result from clogs by debris, dust, and other unwanted organisms in the ductwork. Rest assured, our air conditioning repair guys can diagnose the major cause of restricted airflow from your air ducts and rectify it immediately.
- Improper Ductwork Insulation
Though not common damage, improperly insulated air ducts or uninsulated air ducts eventually lose you a lot of money. A significant air and heat amount may be lost this way, so it is vital to ensure proper insulation in the first place.
- Poor Design
Although not resulting in mechanical damage, poor ductwork design is a major problem homeowners face. The result of poor air duct design is the possibility of losing air and lots of energy. The result is also inefficient cooling and heating and spiking energy bills. If you notice any of these symptoms, call our air conditioning repair team to advise you appropriately on possible ductwork replacement.
What Causes Air Duct Damage?
Having known common ductwork problems to anticipate, you should also know the causing agents to help you practice preventative measures. Below are common causes of ductwork damage:
- Age. As with any home appliance and fixture, the AC and its components have a shelf life. Generally, air ducts have an estimated 20-25 years lifespan before major repairs and replacements are needed. The more an air duct ages, the easier it gets to break down unexpectedly. Old ductworks may cause restricted airflow and leaks. Therefore, to avoid unexpected ductwork problems, be on the lookout for your ductwork’s lifespan. The faster it approaches, the higher the need to replace it promptly
- Organism intrusions. It is not uncommon for tiny insects and critters to attempt to make their way into your air ducts. Unfortunately, the result is major or minor damage to your AC system when they do. When overlooked, these small invading organisms may also compromise air distribution and flow, as well as expose you to health risks. In such an instance, you should call an expert exterminator to get rid of these unwanted guests, then contact our air conditioning repair technicians to clean the ducts for you. Fortunately, we can recommend you to local expert exterminators in Dallas, TX.
- Poor system maintenance. The National Air Duct Cleaners Association endorses professional cleaning air ducts cleaning from your air conditioning repair company at least once between 3 to 5 years. However, you can opt to exceed this limit if any of your household members suffer from allergies. Most homeowners tend to neglect air duct maintenance unintentionally. Failure to maintain your ductwork results in dirty ducts and restricted airflow due to clogs. Fortunately, at One Hour Heating and Cooling, our air conditioning repair team can provide you with scheduled air duct maintenance to allow you to concentrate on other tasks
- Impact damages. Most ducts are installed in the home’s basements. Here, it is not unusual for air ducts to be damaged by different impacts. Routine impacts to your ductwork may lead to leaking air ducts. Moreover, if your basement has water issues, this may lead to ductwork rusting
- Mold and particulate buildup. Dirt, mold, and particulate buildup may result in poor indoor air quality in your home. It may also elevate allergic symptoms among your household members. Hire our air conditioning repair experts to give your ducts proper wiping to eliminate contaminants from your AC system.
How Can You Tell If You Need Expert Air Duct Repairs?
What are the warning signs of ductwork damage? It may be easy to get caught up in running your AC daily that you forget to look out for signs of potential damages. Below are some of the visible and notable signs of air duct damage:
- Unexpected Spikes in Your Energy Bills
Unless your utility company can account for a sudden increase in your energy bills, always strive to discover the underlying cause of sudden energy bill spikes. If your energy bill appears to be abnormally high, yet the rest of your AC system appears to be functioning optimally, faulty or leaky ductwork may be the possible explanation.
Conditioned air flows via your home’s ductwork. Therefore, if your ductwork was improperly installed, much of this conditioned air escapes the flow via leaks. Consequently, your central air conditioner may have to overwork itself to reach the desired indoor temperature levels. As a result, more energy is expended, reflecting on your increased bills.
If you notice a sudden unexpected spike in your energy bills, contact our air conditioning repair experts for proper diagnosis and expert repair.
- Strange Noises Coming from Your Ductwork
In case you hear some monstrous or ghastly sounds coming from your ducts, chances are your ducts may be damaged. You will notice a ductwork malfunction immediately when you turn on your air conditioner and hear popping, banging, or booming sounds.
A possible explanation for this is that your ductwork’s inner metal membrane expands with every air pressure change immediately you turn on the conditioning. Strange ductwork noises may also originate from improperly installed ducts, air duct holes, or ductwork joints. Therefore, if you hear any unexpected noises when turning on the air conditioner, contact our air conditioning repair guys to check for possible causes for strange noises.
- Uneven Indoor Temperatures
Unlike ductless AC systems, ducted AC systems share one temperature setting throughout the home. Therefore, if you are using a ducted system, your home should have no challenges maintaining the same indoor temperatures throughout. If one of your rooms is notably warmer than the rest of the house, your ductwork may have been compromised.
The system should comfortably blow the same cold air from across the entire home. Therefore, if your ductwork isn’t delivering this, the ducts may be experiencing ruptures, blockages, or damages. Failure to address this problem promptly leads to costly repairs and possible replacements.
- Poor Airflow
Insufficient airflow in your home may be due to several explainable reasons. For starters, your seals could be broken, and your ductwork may have cracks and tears. Such problems allow conditioned air to leak out. The result is less airflow to the respective vents and insufficient air circulation.
Another possible explanation is insufficient to return air vents. Insufficient return registers mean that the air won’t be recirculated. In addition, poor airflow could be due to crushed or disconnected ducts. Improper ductwork installation also leads to air leaks and poor airflow. Moreover, debris and particle buildup may block airflow. Contact our air conditioning repair experts to determine the plausible causes of poor airflow.
- Smelling Mildew or Molds
If your home smells of mold and mildew immediately after you turn on your unit, this may indicate possible air duct leaks. Due to uneven temperatures outside the air ducts, mildew and mold appear on your unit. If the air ducts are warm and the ductwork is blowing cool air, condensation may occur due to leaks in the joints or ducts or insufficient insulation.
Our air conditioning repair professionals advise that you pay immediate attention to mold and mildew odors. You can schedule an expert diagnosis and air conditioning repair to reduce the possible health impacts of molds and mildew.
- Signs of Pest Infestations
As previously mentioned, pests and unwanted creatures are the leading causes of ductwork damage. If your air ducts have crevices and holes, it may allow pests to intrude and locate suitable breeding spots. Insects may enter your air ducts via small openings, while mice may intrude through larger spaces. Therefore, if you notice any mice or insect droppings near your air vents, or if there is a foul odor, contact an air conditioner repair pro to mitigate the issue.
- Old and Tangled Ductwork
Torn and worn-out ductwork are prone to severe damages. With time, your ductwork’s quality and functionality deteriorate. Additionally, if any heavy items fall or lean on your air ducts, they may become dented, kinked, or tangled. Call our air conditioner repair contractors for immediate action if you notice any of these scenarios.
Air Conditioning Repair, Dallas, TX
Are you having any ductwork problems with your ducted central AC system? At One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Dallas, we deal with a wide range of air conditioning problems, from faulty thermostats to leaking air ducts. Our air conditioner repair experts are well trained, skilled, experienced, and equipped to provide any air conditioning repair. Reach out to us for emergency air conditioner repair in Dallas, TX.