October 5, 2012
Although most Northern California homeowners don’t realize it, the air ducts in your home play a crucial role in your comfort and energy efficiency. While your air conditioner and heater are responsible for getting the air to a comfortable level, your ductwork circulates the air throughout your home.
Air ducts with these problems lead to uncomfortable homes and inefficient heating and cooling systems.
- Poor Design
It could be easy to ignore the design of your air ducts, but the layout can actually be significant. For example, the longer the run of ducts in your attic, the less efficient it will be. Similar to when you are traveling, the most direct route from point A to point B is usually the most efficient.
- Inadequate Airflow
Another common duct problem that could be affecting your home comfort and increasing your energy bills is inadequate airflow. Many homes in Northern California do not have sufficient return or supply ducts.
Without a proper supply of air, your air conditioner and heater have to work harder (increasing energy bills) and cannot produce as much heated and cooled air for your home (reducing your home comfort.)
- Kinks and Twists
If you have flexible ductwork in your home, you may have kinked or twisted ductwork that could be reducing airflow to or from your heating and cooling system. If you have access to your ducts, take a peak and make sure you don’t see any kinks or sharp turns that can decrease your system’s efficiency.
- Leaking Ducts
ENERGY STAR estimates that up to 20% of the air that passes through the ducts in your home is lost due to leaks, gaps, holes, and poor insulation. Obviously the more your ducts leak, the less efficient they will be. But another consequence of leaking ducts is poor air quality. Leaking ducts let in contaminants from the attic, basement, and other unconditioned spaces.
- Insufficient Insulation
If your ducts are not insulated, or not insulated properly, you could be throwing away hundreds of dollars a year. To maximize your heating and cooling system’s energy efficiency, your air ducts should be insulated. Those with sheet metal ducts can purchase insulation to wrap around them, but a better option may be to replace them with new fully insulated ductwork.
Is your heating or cooling system performing below your standards? It could be one of these common duct problems. Let us take a look by scheduling an appointment online.