No homeowner wants to find out that it’s time to replace their HVAC ductwork, but ignoring the problem instead of addressing it could lead to bigger problems down the line. So, how are you supposed to know when it’s time to replace that old ductwork system instead of just having it cleaned or repaired?
Why is your ductwork so important?
Your ductwork is to your HVAC system what your veins and arteries are to your body. When your heart pumps blood throughout your body, it distributes oxygen and nutrients, among other things, to the different parts of your body. Your furnace and air conditioning unit work similar to your heart. As your HVAC system turns on, the hot or cold air is carried through your ductwork and distributed to the different rooms in your home. Just like how clogged or damaged arteries can cause a major problem in your body, damaged or dirty ductwork can result in bigger problems for your HVAC system.
Signs there is a problem with your ductwork
Most homeowners don’t spend time each day thinking about their HVAC system; the heat comes on when it’s cold out, and the air comes on when the house gets too hot. So, how do you know when there might be a problem with your ductwork? Here are some easy signs to let you know if it’s time to turn your attention to your heating and cooling system:
- Take a look at your cold air return covers – Is there a buildup of dust? If you find a major buildup of dust on the cover, then you will want to investigate further because this can be a sign that there is a problem with your ductwork.
- Your house is dustier than normal – If you notice that your house is getting dusty faster than normal, or you are having to change your filters more often, it is a good time to check your HVAC system for bigger problems.
- Inconsistent room temperature – If you are finding that the rooms in your home are not a consistent temperature, it can be an indication that there is a problem. Leaky ductwork can cause cold spots or stuffy rooms.
- Look at your ductwork – While this seems simple, it is something that people often forget to do. Check your ductwork periodically to see if there is anything that appears out of the ordinary. Are there cracks and leaks? Does anything appear to be misaligned?
When to replace your ductwork
Once you have spotted the signs that you might have trouble with your ductwork, the next step is determining whether you can easily clean or repair it. It may even be time to just bite the bullet and replace your ductwork. Here are the top reasons why you would need to replace your ductwork:
- Mold – Cracks in ductwork can increase the humidity in your home and your ductwork. Increased humidity can lead to mold. If you have metal ductwork, there is a chance that you can clean mold out effectively; however, if your ductwork is made of plastic, you will want to replace it. The plastic can hold onto the mold even after it is thoroughly cleaned. Mold is one issue that you do not want to delay in taking care of as it is hazardous to the health of you and your family.
- Cracks and/or tears – If your ductwork has cracks or tears, you are losing money each time your HVAC system is running. While minor cracks or tears can be repaired, there is also a time when it makes more sense to replace the ductwork. Have an experienced HVAC tech evaluate your system to see what the best steps are to remedy the problem.
- You have an older home – Asbestos was commonly used in the insulation surrounding ductwork in the past. If your home is more than fifty years old and you have not had your ductwork replaced, you should have a technician inspect your system to see if it should be replaced.
- Your home was recently built – When general contractors are building homes, they may sometimes use sub-par HVAC systems which usually mean that the highest quality products are not being used. If your home was built new, you might want to have your HVAC system and ductwork checked to make sure you don’t have any problems. It’s better to make changes now before the ductwork is covered up with Sheetrock.
Calling in the professionals:
If you believe that you have ductwork that needs to be cleaned, repaired or replaced, it is best to call in the professionals to make sure the job is done right. Lloyd HVAC of Toronto is a registered member of The Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) bringing you the peace of mind that our qualified technicians will provide you with the highest quality service. Contact us today to discuss all of your ductwork replacement questions.