If you’re having difficulty maintaining consistent home comfort, it could be that your ductwork needs attention. Look and listen for these giveaway signs of inefficient ductwork, and fix the problems to lower energy costs, increase home comfort, and reduce workload on HVAC equipment.
Leaky ducts, loose connections
In the Midwest, HVAC systems are put to the test all year long. Over time, this may cause leaks and loose joints in ductwork. Visually inspect your ducts, and use mastic, fiberglass mesh and/or aluminum tape to seal leaks and loose or disconnected duct joints.
As cool or heated air circulates through ducts in unconditioned spaces (e.g. attic, basement, garage or crawl space), up to 30 percent of the energy used to cool/heat the air can be lost to conduction through thin duct walls. Install fiber board insulation to ducts in these spaces to stop energy loss, and lower the burden on your HVAC equipment.
Rattling, banging and clamoring
Duct noise indicates loose connections, contact with building structure, and/or the natural expansion and contraction ducts undergo during temperature changes. If you hear rattling at an air-supply register, check the connection. Ensure registers and duct connections are secure. Ducts need one-inch clearance from all building structures. Banging noises may be coming from contact points between ducts and structures, due to the natural expansion and contraction that ducts undergo. You may try acoustic dampening boards to muffle noise to an acceptable level. In some circumstances, a trained HVAC professional may need to reposition ducts.
Unbalanced air pressure
Balanced air pressure is important for HVAC function and home comfort, and to inhibit forced air exchange with outdoor air through cracks, access doors and attached garages. For greatest efficiency, minimize twists and turns when designing ducts. Take the straightest path possible from blower to registers. Install a minimum one return grille per level of living space. Having multiple grilles is preferred.
If your ductwork needs attention, contact the heating and cooling pros at Hartman Brothers Heating & Air Conditioning today. We provide exceptional service for homeowners in the Fort Wayne area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in New Haven, Indiana and surrounding Fort Wayne area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about ductwork and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock