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Should Homeowners Consider Air Duct Replacement?

Clues That a Home Is In Need of Air Duct Replacement

The air ducts in the home, like any other piece of equipment which sees daily use, eventually become old and worn through use. After all, they’re subjected to almost constant stress, such as vibration, changes in temperature, and most of all, a whole lot of air pressure. When old or worn-out ductwork begins falling apart, the problems it creates are numerous and costly - but also hard to spot. 

Here are some telltale signs homeowners may need to replace their ductwork.

Signs of Old Ductwork

aging duct tape

Since ductwork isn’t usually replaced unless there’s a problem or if the installation of a new HVAC system necessitates it, most homes still have their original ductwork. As the years add up, so do certain little issues. Sealants crumble and fall away, connector joints loosen and part, seams burst, supports snap. Now the air is leaking out into the attic or inside walls, and insulation materials and other debris are making their way into the ducts. 

If a homeowner notices an unusual abundance of dust or dirt in the areas around the air supply vents, they may have some damaged ductwork.

Are Utility Bills Unusually High?

An HVAC unit utilizes air pressure and the natural dynamics of airflow to circulate and deliver air throughout the home. Damaged, leaky ductwork interferes with this process by causing air pressure to be lost. The unit will then struggle to meet the demands of the thermostat, resulting in higher energy usage and potential damage to the unit itself. The same principle applies to gas furnaces, so regardless of the type of system used, or the time of year, homeowners should keep an eye out for unexpected hikes in the utility bill.

coins close to the toy house

If aging ductwork is causing the unit to operate less efficiently, the increase in power usage may not be dramatic enough to notice at first, but can still needlessly cost money over time. For this reason, among others, it’s worth scheduling routine maintenance and diagnostic visits with an HVAC service company.

The Impact of Aging Ducts on Indoor Air Quality

man crossing his hands

Between foreign debris and dust slipping into the air supply, and a decrease in airflow due to leaky ducts, indoor air quality can take a big hit. Old, dirty, or damaged ducts can also harbor mold and mildew - particularly in humid regions - making matters even worse. Changing air filters is wise, but it won’t do much good if these harmful pollutants are already in the ducts! 

The effects of poor indoor air quality can range from mild respiratory irritation and sneezing to very serious or life-threatening illnesses. Especially for homeowners or anyone in their family with a history of asthma, allergies, or other respiratory issues, it’s important to keep a very close eye out for the warning signs of aging or damaged ductwork. 

When in doubt, it’s always best to have the HVAC system and ductwork inspected by a professional.

About RupCoe Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning

RupCoe Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning has been serving South Plainfield, New Jersey since 1985. They are a family-owned and operated business and are committed to providing outstanding service through all hours of the day and night. Every job is performed by licensed and insured technicians and is backed by a total satisfaction guarantee.