Air ducts. To the average Northern California home owner, they’re invisible.
But your air ducts are extremely important to the your heating and cooling system’s energy efficiency and your comfort.
To prove our point, here are 6 facts you probably don’t know and don’t want to hear (but should) about air ducts.
Your Air Ducts Lose 20% of Your Heated and Cooled Air
ENERGY STAR estimates that in a typical house about 20% of the air that passes through air ducts is lost.
In addition, studies by PG&E state that “faulty ductwork accounts for nearly 25% of the heating loss in an average California home.”
Air ducts waste energy when they have:
Your Air Ducts Could Be Responsible for Your Dirty Home
Does it feel like your home is always dirty? Even after you just dusted from top to bottom, you notice a fine layer of dirt on your furniture. You’re not crazy – your air ducts may be to blame.
Leaky ductwork allows dirt and debris to enter your home from the attic, walls and crawlspace.
Your Air Ducts May Be Suffocating Your Air Conditioner and Furnace
Many homes do not have an adequate amount of return air ducts (the ducts that pull air from your home and return it to your heating and cooling system.)
This suffocates your air conditioner and furnace because they cannot receive enough air, resulting in higher energy bills for you. Learn more about the importance of airflow in our previous blog post.
You Should Never Use Duct Tape on Your Air Ducts
You would think air ducts and duct tape would go together like hot dogs and hot dog buns. Sadly, this isn’t true.
Duct tape is not long-lasting. If you are making repairs on your leaky ductwork, you should use a mastic sealer, which is a long-term solution.
Air Duct Design is Extremely Important to Your System’s Efficiency
Think of your air ducts like roads and the air like vehicles trying to get to their destination (your home.)
If the roads are in disrepair (holes, cracks, etc.), you’ll lose some of the travellers. If the roads are longer than they need to be, you’ll lose efficiency. If the roads are too narrow, you’ll be stuck in rush hour.
(Ducts that are too big are also a problem. No analogy is perfect.)
So, if you want to improve the energy efficiency of your home’s heating and air conditioning system, you may want to have someone check out your ductwork.
Your Air Ducts Could Be Hiding Dangerous Contaminants
Over time, your air ducts collect dust and debris, just like your furniture. But you can’t easily get to the inside of your ducts, so the dirt just builds up.
In some cases that means, in addition to dust, your air ducts are housing dangerous contaminants like mold, mildew, bacteria and viruses, which are circulated throughout your home whenever you run your system.
Now You Know
Every great heating and air conditioning company knows how important air ducts are. Now you do, too.
Share this on Twitter or Facebook and tell your friends and family a few facts they don’t want to hear (but probably should) about air ducts.
Service Champions provides this blog to educate Northern California residents throughout San Jose, Sacramento and the East Bay areas on heating, air conditioning and air quality. If you have a question you’d like answered, ask one of our experts.
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