What Is Ductwork, Anyway?
Ductwork refers to a system of pipes or airways that distribute air throughout a building or residence. In layman’s terms, it’s how air travels from a centralized air conditioner to various parts of the house. Ductwork generally needs very little maintenance, and it can last years without showing any signs of degradation.
However, like many parts of an HVAC system, air ducts occasionally run into problems. When that happens, homeowners should consult HVAC specialists focusing on indoor air quality. A quick and easy fix could distinguish a humid home from a comfortable summer paradise.
How Long Does Ductwork Last?
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, ductwork lasts as long as the ducts. With occasional cleaning and maintenance, ductwork can last decades. However, it might be time to consider air duct cleaning, service, or repair if:
- There’s animal waste (such as rodent feces) inside the air ducts. Not only could this point to an infestation, but it could also compromise the air quality.
- There’s mold growth around the air vents. Mold thrives in dark, damp places. If there’s a leak inside the air duct, mold can grow, causing respiratory problems and affecting the AC system’s effectiveness.
- There’s excessive dust buildup. If an air duct gets perforated, this could cause hair, dust, and other particles to get trapped in the vent. This can prevent how airflow is distributed throughout the home.
An HVAC specialist may inspect the AC system and recommend getting new ductwork based on their unique insights. They may also suggest replacing the AC system itself if it’s more than 15 years old.
What Are Some Signs of Damaged Ductwork?
Many homeowners never see the inside of their home’s air ducts. So, this makes knowing the signs of repair or replacement necessary. That’s because once a problem becomes evident, it’s likely been festering for quite some time.
Some signs that may be time to replace the ductwork include the following:
- The home frequently has rodent or insect infestations
- Airflow isn’t evenly distributed throughout the home, meaning some rooms feel warmer than others
- The thermostat never gets to the desired temperature
- The air duct vents look clogged or dirty
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) notes that the average Virginia homeowner spends about $130 a month on their energy bill. If one notices an unexplained increase, they should consult a professional.
What Signs Call for Air Duct Cleaning?
The U.S. Department of Energy notes that homeowners can go years without having their air ducts cleaned. Yet, they may consider hiring a professional service if they notice the following:
- Visible dust or debris inside the air vent
- Poor indoor air quality
- Strong, musty odors
- Inconsistent airflow
- Visible mold or mildew growth
- Higher-than-usual energy bills
If a homeowner has more problems than usual with their AC (such as air filters that need replacing within weeks), they should consult a professional.
About 360 Air Tech
With 360 Air Tech, AC problems make a 180. Not only are they proud community members of the Williamsburg community, but they offer same-day service with a smile. They also offer membership in their maintenance program. There’s a reason why these professionals have countless five-star reviews online. One can call today for ductwork services.