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Without adequate ductwork, your HVAC system will not be able to effectively distribute air throughout your home in Baltimore, MD. Just like any other part of your HVAC system, your ducts may sometimes run into serious trouble, and it’s to your advantage to learn to spot that trouble. Here are five important signs that you may need new ductwork.

1. Uneven Heating or Cooling

Given your ductwork’s essential role in dispersing air, it should make you suspicious to see uneven temperatures throughout your home. However, uneven heating or cooling does not automatically imply the existence of ductwork issues — let alone ones that are serious enough to warrant completely replacing the ducts.

Many other things may cause this particular difficulty, including an old or inefficient HVAC system, faulty blowers or fans, clogged filters or registers, a malfunctioning thermostat, or a faulty electrical system. If fixing these issues doesn’t seem to resolve your troubles, then your ductwork may ultimately be to blame.

2. High Utility Bills

Massive energy bills are among the strongest signs of an inefficient HVAC system. Various things may cause your HVAC system’s efficiency to drop. Although clogs and leaks in your ductwork certainly can bring down HVAC efficiency, it may not be wise to jump to that conclusion right away.

If you’ve ruled out other possibilities, however, it’s a good idea to ask professionals to take a look at your ducts. All kinds of debris — including dirt, biological matter, and even dead animals — may be hiding in your ducts, preventing air from flowing through them as smoothly as it should.

Air may also escape through holes in your ductwork. Such leaks will prevent that air from ever reaching the rooms in your home, forcing your HVAC system to work harder and consume more energy.

3. Low Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

If dirt gathers in your ductwork, flowing air can easily push some of it into your home and decrease your indoor air quality. If your home is especially dusty, or you find yourself experiencing some of the typical symptoms that go with living in a low-IAQ environment, like coughing, sneezing, or general respiratory issues, your ducts may be in trouble. This is even more likely if you notice dust coming out of your registers.

Just as with the other signs we’ve discussed, you must remember that ductwork issues are not the only things that may create low IAQ. If you have furry pets, for example, make sure that they are not dirty and are not bringing allergens into your home.

4. Excessive Age

Ductwork can typically last anywhere from 10 to 15 years. Beyond this point, the accumulation of abrasion damage, dirt, and other damaging factors can become significant. It may sometimes be possible to clean the ducts or plug up the leaks, but in sufficiently serious cases, that course may not be open to you, and you may have to opt for outright replacement.

5. Improper HVAC Installation

Finally, it’s possible that you don’t have the correct sort of HVAC system. The installation team that put your current system into place may have given you one that is either too large or too small — possibly because that team did not correctly perform a Manual J load calculation. In such an instance, you’ll need to replace your old ductwork along with the rest of the system.

Short cycling is a standard sign of an HVAC system that is too large. Too frequent or never-ending operation often indicates that the system you have is too small. Either of these things should inflame your suspicions.

Ductwork issues may seriously inhibit your ability to stay cool in the Baltimore, MD heat this summer. Luckily, our technicians have the skills to quickly set you up with a new set of ducts. Call our team at Griffith Energy Services today and ask for our ductwork services.

Image provided by iStock

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