The job of your ductwork seems pretty straightforward. A large fan sucks air into the air handler or furnace via a blower fan and the return grille. Air comes in through the return ducts, and the same fan blows conditioned air through the supply ducts and into your home. However, designing the ductwork for efficient airflow throughout a home is not as simple as it may seem. Proper duct design is paramount to an efficient home or building, and a poor design can cause HVAC equipment to break down prematurely and cause quite a bit of discomfort.
If it seems like the heater or air conditioner in your home breaks down constantly, it may be the case that your ducts are not well-designed. When there is a flaw in your ducts—making it difficult for heated or cold air to make it into the living space—the air conditioner has to work a lot harder to maintain the temperature, forcing some vital component to become overworked. Unfortunately, this is a problem in the majority of homes; according to an estimate by the U.S. Department of Energy, duct leaks, poor insulation and other design flaws may account for 30% of air loss in a typical home.
There are a couple of problems that may lead to duct replacement, while others only need a simple repair. Usually, small leaks and cracks can simply be sealed using professional materials (NOT standard duct tape, which could present a fire hazard). Professionals have the right sealants and tapes to repair leaks safely, but sometimes a minor leak is not the only problem.
Ducts should be designed in the most efficient way possible, with few twists and turns that could potentially interfere with airflow. They should also be as resistant to heat loss as possible, which sometimes means placing them in conditioned areas of your home. If your ducts are prone to collapsing, or if an expert finds that you are spending far more money on heating and air conditioning than is necessary, ductwork replacement may be necessary. This is especially true if your heating and air conditioning system is suffering as a result of faulty installation, which could be because the ductwork is too large or small for the size of the home and the necessary heating or cooling load.
At Raleigh Heating & Air, our experts are trained to recognize what kinds of problems need sealing and when to recommend professional duct replacement for your home in Cary, NC. Call us today for a thorough assessment of your ducts and the energy efficiency of your home.