There are plenty of ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency: Among other things, you can 1) seal external air leaks, 2) boost insulation, 3) install heat-recovery ventilation, 4) use programmable thermostats and zone controls to match your energy use to your at-home circumstances, and 4) upgrade to the most efficient forms of heating and cooling. Often forgotten, unfortunately, is the old ductwork in your home. You need to make sure it’s properly maintained.
Ductwork is important because it carries heated or cooled air makes to the various rooms in your home. If airflow is redirected or obstructed at any point on its journey through the ducts, your home won’t heat or cool as well, and you may find yourself tweaking the thermostat to higher (or lower, in the summer) settings in order to compensate.
Here Are a Few Problem Areas in Old Ductwork:
- The ductwork connection to the HVAC system can become loose or damaged over time, letting conditioned air escape from supply ducts near the unit.
- Leaks and damage in the ductwork itself may spill air into areas such as crawlspaces and wall cavities.
- Damage to return ducts may fail to bring air into the HVAC system, which could lead to overheating or other issues.
- Vents, especially in older homes, may be painted over or stuck in their closed position. They may also be obstructed by carpets, drapes or furniture. This can hamper air distribution, and increase pressure in the system.
- Insulated ducts should be checked regularly to ensure that the insulation is still attached.
- Kinks, dents and obstructions in ductwork can hinder airflow.
HVAC systems should be inspected annually to keep them at peak functioning capacity, and your old ductwork is no exception. Ask your contractor to visually inspect the ducts, and if you suspect any problems, a more thorough inspection may be warranted.
To learn more about how systems in your home work together efficiently, please contact us at Stack Heating & Cooling. We’re proud to serve homeowners in the greater Cleveland area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about ductwork and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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