When it comes to your HVAC system, most people think the furnace is the most important part, and while there is some truth to that, and it obviously the most costly aspect, the ductwork is responsible for actually getting the heated or cooled air to the right locations so your house can maintain optimal temperature.
So what do you do if you have a furnace that’s been serviced by a qualified technician, regularly maintained, and operating as it should, and you still don’t feel like you are getting the efficiency you should out of your system? It might be time to take a look at your ductwork!
Forced air systems can involve a complex series of ductwork that distributes the air that is either heated or cooled throughout your home. If there are issues with the ductwork, it will affect how your whole HVAC system works.
So, how can you tell if the issue is with your ductwork and NOT your furnace or AC unit? Here are some common signs:
- Your home’s temperature is uneven – This is often a sign of an HVAC system that is undersized for your home, however, if you have the right-sized unit and you are noticing that your home has hot and cold spots this could be a sign of ductwork that has some leaks. When you have leaky ducts, you could be allowing as much as 15% of the heated or cooled air to escape into other parts of your home that it shouldn’t be. The result is overly hot or overly cool spaces in your home.
- Big changes in your utility bills – Your home’s utility costs probably fluctuate somewhat from season to season, however a big jump in your fuel consumption, if you’re using your equipment the same way you always have, is a big red flag. Your system may be working overtime to make up for those uneven hot and cold spots caused by faulty ducts and your utility bill could be taking the hit for it.
- More dust – When your ductwork has holes and cracks in it your ductwork can draw in allergen-carrying dust from within the shell and crevices of your home. Once the dust enters and collects in your ductwork, it’s going to find its way into your home via your vents and registers. If you are noticing more dust than normal or your allergy seems worse than normal inside your home this could be a sure sign of faulty ducts.
Troubleshooting your HVAC system can be frustrating and expensive if you try to do it yourself. It’s important to have your system inspected and maintained by a certified technician.