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6 HVAC Problems Caused By Duct Issues

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HVAC problems

Is your living or work space not as cool as you would like it? Are you noticing your indoor air is not fresh and maybe even musty? Have you heard any banging and whistling noises?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, your ducts might be the cause of these HVAC problems. Let’s take a look at some common HVAC problems associated with duct deficiencies.

6 cases when ducts are the source of HVAC problems

1. Poor airflow

When your ducts are dirty or clogged, your space will not be as cool as you like. If your ducts are leaking, a portion of the conditioned air will not make it to where you need it in your home or business.

If you examine your registers when trying to pinpoint the origin of your HVAC airflow problems, you might observe a lack of air blowing from the vents. You will notice stuffy air because not enough air is circulating.

2. Hot and cold spots

Did you ever walk from a comfortably air conditioned room in your home to another room, which felt warm or stuffy and wonder why? Possibly, a hole in an air duct is causing uncomfortable temperatures in that room. Leaky ducts are a routine cause of HVAC problems.

3. Odors

Is your HVAC unit smelly? Well, the unwanted smells might not be coming from your central HVAC unit. Instead, the ductwork might be the source of the undesirable odors.

Sometimes moisture builds up in your ducts and after a while that moisture becomes the breeding ground for mold, mildew and other scary microorganisms. Rodent and insect vermin deposits might also be in your ducts. All of these duct-dwellers can make for some nasty smells.

4. Air quality problems

It’s not just the odors that are the problem; allergens and contaminated air might be fouling your breathing space. Smog and other forms of outdoor pollution, dust, pet dander, pollen and dangerous VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) from things like cleaning fluids, pesticides, paint, varnish and printer ink are possibly circulating through your ducts and pushed into rooms from your registers.

Learn more about dirty ducts and air quality issues:
Allergies & Duct Cleaning: What’s the Connecton
FAQ: Duct Cleaning and Your Indoor Air Quality

Refrigeration Preventative Maintenance Contracts

5. Clogged filters

Clogged filters are the reason for a range of HVAC problems, including air quality and temperatures issues. If your filters are clogging with abnormal frequency, it could signal HVAC duct problems. Ducts loaded with debris and other particles that can clog your filters at an alarming rate.

6. Noisy HVAC system

Noise complaints are among the most common HVAC problems. It’s not unusual for ductwork to develop cracks and leaks over the years. Air can escape through these openings and produce a whistling sound. Rectangular sheet metal ducts might make a popping sound when air pressure problems develop.

Learn more: Top 10 Causes of HVAC Airflow Problems

Solutions to duct-related HVAC problems

HVAC problems caused by duct issues are not a reason for panic. Often it’s just a matter of calling in an HVAC service company to clean and unclog your ducts and service your HVAC system.

Here are some duct-related HVAC problems and solutions:

Get a duct inspection. If your air ducts have been neglected for a while, they might be clogged with dust, pet dander, pollen, rodent and insect vermin and other contaminants. Invite a professional duct cleaner in to inspect your ductwork.

Repair duct leaks. According to a National Comfort Institute study, HVAC equipment is 57-percent efficient and the majority of the inefficiency stems from air flow issues. Make sure an HVAC professional seals any leaky air duct leaks.

Check duct sizing. An improperly designed system will cause a host of HVAC problems. If your contractor underestimated your load capacity, the installer probably used undersized ducts.
Your system will work harder and longer to compensate for inadequately sized ducts, which means higher utility bills.

Check ductwork design. When your ducts are too long and there is too much space between your equipment and cooling location, your comfort will suffer. If your ducts contain too many sharp bends, you unfortunately will feel the effects of impeded airflow. Your contractor should eliminate sharp turns when possible and use elbows, which ease the sharpness of turns.

Check for flexible duct damage. If you use flexible ducts made from plastic, sometimes these tubes get crushed, twisted or torn. Check the ducts for kinks and tears. Sometimes, supports help prevent twisting and alignment problems.

Add more supply or return vents. Frequently, too few supply and return vents are the sources of HVAC problems. You need enough supply vents to provide for airflow and enough return vents to draw the air back into the system for conditioning. Not enough of either of these vents results in unbalanced pressure in ducts, which will decrease comfort and efficiency.

Get help for HVAC problems

Many HVAC problems caused by duct issues are beyond the expertise of do-it-yourselfers and require professional help. Why not make an appointment with technicians from Arista Air, who have experience diagnosing HVAC problems? They can help you make a comfortable decision.