Summers in San Antonio can be blazing hot. Any environment with extreme weather increases the importance of having a functional heating and cooling system in the home. One component of an HVAC system is the ducts.
Much like all the other parts of your HVAC system, can lose their thermal barrier. With proper care, your ducts may last longer than several decades. Regular professional inspections can help you stay on top of the situation and ensure you can fix or replace your ducts before something major happens. You don’t want to suffer through a San Antonio heat wave with poor air flow delivery.
Most issues with AC ducts come from normal pour design or installation and heat degradation over time. It’s also possible that your ducts were never installed correctly to begin with. You might be surprised to learn that incorrect installation is one of the leading causes of energy waste in residential dwellings.
The Hazards of Problematic Ductwork
Your air filtration is integral to your duct system and helps to remove contaminants from the air in your home. If the ducts are dirty or damaged somehow, it can impede the air flow. Allergens and other particulate matter may begin to be introduced into your home from return air leakage.
Some people are allergic to dust. Whether or not you have an allergy, dust is bad to breathe. It can contain anything from outside air pollutants to human and pet dander.
If there’s any moisture and dust in your ducts, mold can begin to grow. It will circulate throughout your home every time you use your HVAC system. If your ducts are damaged, they may need to be fully replaced to reduce the possibility of mold growth. Damaged ducts can be harder to clean.
Mold is a greater concern than dust or some other contaminants. This is because mold has the potential to cause serious and sometimes long-lasting health problems in sensitive individuals.
Asbestos is a mineral fiber that was often used in construction before we learned of the dangers. The microscopic fibers get stuck in the lungs and cause deadly cancers and other serious breathing problems.
If your home was built after the 1970s, you most likely don’t have to worry about asbestos. If you have an older home, it could be an issue. Broken air ducts allow asbestos particulates from the surrounding structures to begin circulating through the air in your home.
If you’re worried you might have asbestos in your home, let your HVAC team know. We can help you arrange to have the asbestos removed safely, and then we can replace your ductwork to ensure everything is optimal.
Pest Dander and Droppings
Pests are a major issue, but a pest problem combined with damaged ducts is a whole other monster. When rats, cockroaches, and other pests set up shop in your crawlspace or the gaps between your walls, they release a lot of dander. If your ducts are split apart in some areas, that dander will get sucked inside. Worse, the pests themselves may get into the ducts, release even more dander, and partially block your air flow.
Signs it is Time to Replace Your Ductwork
Now that you know the dangers of damaged ducts, you might be wondering about yours. How do you know if your ducts need replacement? What signs should you look for?
1. Low Airflow
Years ago, you could stand beneath your air conditioner vents and feel a rush of cool air blowing down upon you. Now, you can barely feel a thing. This is a surefire sign that your ducts are leaking air.
2. Visible Damage
When examining the visible parts of your air ducts, look for signs of damage. Holes in the duct, tape coming loose, the outside jacket torn or decayed, and exposed fiberglass are all indications of an issue. We can look at it over and decide on a plan best suited for the situation.
3. Bad Smells
Do you notice an unpleasant smell when you use your HVAC system? Mold and other contaminants may cause an awful odor. If you’re noticing this odor on a regular basis, it’s a safe bet that contaminants are circulating through your home.
4. Loud Noises
Is your AC making a racket? Some units are louder than others, but if you notice your unit making more noise over time, something might be wrong with your AC ducts. Indentions or other problems can change the direction of the air, creating loud noises.
6. Increased Energy Bills
A high utility bill is another solid indication that something is wrong. For this reason, it’s smart to keep track of your energy usage. Being aware of what’s normal will help you spot a problem much faster. We offer a performance test, which measures how the system operates overall and notes leakage areas.
Professional AC Repair and Duct Installation
If you’re concerned about your AC ducts, let the professionals help! We can inspect your HVAC system, provide advice, and get you up and running again in no time. Give us a call today to make an appointment.