If you were to guess what the most overlooked part of your air conditioner was, what would you say? Many homeowners are quick to say the outdoor unit—after all, other than the noise it makes when its expelling hot air from your home, it is not very noticeable, right?
But alas, we’re actually talking about another component—the “V” of HVAC—your ventilation system. Rather, your ductwork. And because it’s overlooked, and out of sight, spotting air duct problems can be hard. After all, most of these ducts are hidden behind ceilings and walls, making it tricky to spot problems. So how can you tell when your ductwork needs repair?
You See Dents or Punctures
Wait, but we just talked about ductwork being hidden from view, right?
Well, yes, but some of it is visible. If you have ductwork in your attic, for example, you may see your air ducts when you go to store something up there. The best way to avoid this kind of duct damage is to avoid stacking stuff on the ductwork or near the ductwork.
Another way ducts can get damaged is by hanging stuff on it. While this type of damage may not immediately cause problems, it threatens the integrity of the ducts, and can eventually lead to airflow and air pressure problems if it creates duct damage.
Loss of Cooling Power
In many cases, a loss of cooling power means that your air ducts have a leak somewhere. Another rare but possible scenario is that your ductwork is blocked by something, like perhaps a small rodent that’s built a next.
Depending on the reduction of cool air, a good way to figure out where the leak may be is to rule out rooms that are getting sufficient cooled air. Of course, we don’t encourage you to try to fix your ducts on your own, so regardless of whether or not you figured out what rooms are impacted, the best thing you can do is to call in a pro to inspect.
Has your airflow gone form what you’d expect to being so low you barely feel it? There are a number of possibilities as to why this is occurring. You may need to change your air filters—this should be done every 1-3 months.
A portion of your ductwork might have become disconnected or gotten punctured, or your air intake and outflow vents are blocked by something such as furniture or a rug. You may be able to find the problem by process of elimination, but regardless of the cause, if you can’t resolve it easily, it’s time to give us a call.
Odors that are pervasive through your system could potentially mean an electrical problem and should never be dismissed. But another possibility is that there’s something going on within your ductwork, especially if the smell is musty.
The problem might be something like mold residing in the air ducts. Or it could be a buildup of dust and other debris.