Duct systems are often installed out of sight in unconditioned areas. Even if your air ducts are out of sight, pay attention to common giveaway signs of duct problems, and you may reap the benefits of energy savings and greater home comfort.

Common signs of duct problems

Problems in your air ducts, such as leaks, holes, poor connections and uninsulated ducts, increase utility costs and decrease efficiency and home comfort. Other common issues with air ducts are annoying noises like rattling, clamoring and banging. These noises are indicators of ducts striking other building structures (pipes, studs, walls, etc.), loose connections, and the expansion and contraction of ducts, which itself is normal. Use these handy fixes to maximize efficiency in your duct system.

  • Noises: If your air ducts rattle and clamor, check all joint connections, including the connections at the air-supply registers. Loose duct joints will waste energy by leaking air and may compromise indoor air quality. Banging noises are often the result of expansion and contraction of the ducts due to temperature changes. You may try installing acoustic dampeners to the ducts to reduce the noise. If the banging is due to ducts striking other building structures, you may need to call an HVAC professional to safely and properly reposition the air ducts.
  • Sealing: Leaks and loose connections are best sealed using duct cement (mastic) and fiberglass mesh. Add a joint collar for extra durability. A thorough duct inspection by your HVAC pro may reveal leaks and holes that are seemingly invisible to the eye.
  • Insulating: Ducts that are installed in unconditioned areas, such as the attic, basement and crawl space, should be insulated to minimize heat energy loss through the thin walls of ducts. A rigid board insulation may be used for square ducts, and round ducts may be wrapped with insulation. Properly insulated ducts saves substantial energy, and it provides more evenly distributed air (heated or cooled) throughout your home.

Ducts are a vital component to your home’s HVAC system. For a professional duct evaluation, contact Stack Heating & Coolingtoday. We’ve proudly served the residents of northeast Ohio since 1976.

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 air duct problems and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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