When you first had your air conditioner installed, you may not have thought much about the ducts. After all, not many homeowners do. The ducts are the conduits that transport cooled air through to every room of the home, but it’s easy to take them for granted when you’re staring at a big shiny new air conditioning unit.
After a few years of faithful service from your AC, it will be wise to start considering service for the ducts. Just because they don’t have moving parts doesn’t mean that they won’t need some service. If things are particularly bad, they might even need replacement.
Your Ducts Aren’t Invincible
Since the ducts are out of sight and out of mind, you’d assume they’d be out of harm’s way, as well. We wish it could be that way, but the fact is that there are various things that can cause your ducts to fall into disrepair.
If you’ve moved into a home with an air conditioner, it’s wise to have the ducts inspected just to ensure that your system is up to par. That includes looking at the ducts.
Installing ductwork is a science and an art: you want to choose the right duct materials, use the right size, insulate them properly, and run them through the available spaces without any significant crimps or bends. Laying the ductwork in limited space can be a challenge.
It’s not surprising, then, that some ductwork jobs are just plain bad. Improperly sized ducts installed haphazardly can be a big drain on efficiency, but a replacement can easily fix it.
Mold and Mildew
It’s no secret that we live in one of the most humid states in the nation. Now imagine the ducts, full of moist summer air and condensation, and then sprinkle in some dust and dirt… That’s a formula for mold!
Ducts in Miami, FL do collect dust and dirt, and they’ll need to be cleaned out occasionally. But if the right conditions end up creating mold, you’ll want to have that cleaning scheduled much sooner. If the mold is especially bad, we might deem that replacing the affected ducts is the better option.
Tears and Disconnects
We saved it for last: one of the most common reasons for duct replacement is from tears and disconnects.
The problem will be vary depending on what the ducts are made of, but the problem is the same for all of them: the sealants keeping the ducts together can deteriorate due to the constant fluctuations in temperature.
It’s also not uncommon for pests like rodents to make their way in the ducts and chew out holes. Flexible duct material is especially susceptible to this since they’re made of insulation rather than metal.
Regardless of how it happens, tears and disconnects are a huge problem. It’s estimated that nearly 30% of your air can be completely lost from leaks—that’s nearly one-third of your energy bill wasted.
Sometimes, leaks can easily be patched up or sealed, but there are some cases where the best option is just to replace.