If you have a duct system in your home, chances are you’ve never seen it, and maybe even never thought about it. After all, a good HVAC system is one you can simply utilize without having to worry too much about it.
But the truth is that each HVAC system is made up of a series of intricate moving components, and in many homes, that means you have a system of ducts carrying heated air and cooled air throughout your home.
At this point, you’re probably wondering what you should be doing to keep your ductwork running correctly. Read on, and our expert University Park HVAC technicians at Lyons Air & Heat will walk you through everything you need to know about ductwork–what it is, what it does, and how to maintain it.
What is the Purpose of Ductwork?
Think of your home like a body. The HVAC is the circulatory system. The furnace, or air handler, is the heart. The thermostat is the brain. And the air ducts are the blood vessels, circulating airflow throughout your home.
HVAC systems have both return air ducts and supply air ducts. The return ducts will bring unconditioned air from your house into your furnace or air handler to be conditioned. Then, the supply air ducts will return this conditioned air to your house.
Properly sealed and designed ductwork will keep your home comfortable, clean, and at an even temperature. But what happens when you begin to have problems with your ductwork? What happens when you start experiencing hot and cold spots or hearing strange noises every time your air conditioning kicks on?
Should I Clean My Air Duct System?
There’s a fair amount of debate on whether or not duct systems need to receive regular cleanings. There are a variety of pros and cons to duct cleaning, but in short, you may consider having your ducts cleaned if you are experiencing:
Increased Respiratory Illnesses
If members of your family are experiencing unexplained respiratory illnesses or their already-existing illnesses seem to flare up more than usual, a duct cleaning might be beneficial. For instance, if you live in a very humid area, mold might grow inside your ducts, and spores could be circulating throughout your home.
Other bacteria, as well as rodents and insects, might also make their way into your ductwork. If this is happening to you, you should consult with a Mesquite, TX HVAC technician immediately to determine if a duct cleaning is right for you.
Decrease in Comfort
If you suddenly find that your air conditioner is not heating or cooling your home like it used to, your duct system could be clogged with dust, debris, or other particulates. In many cases, cleaning it out will do the trick.
Increased Energy Bills
Similarly, if your energy costs are skyrocketing, your ductwork could be the trouble. The harder your air conditioning unit’s fans are working to push air through your ducts, the more energy it uses to accomplish the same end. If your ductwork is blocked up by an accumulation of dust and debris, a thorough cleaning will benefit your system’s efficiency.
In short, if your air ducts are working properly and you aren’t experiencing any immediate issues, a cleaning may not be immediately necessary, but it could certainly be beneficial.
Do I Need to Replace My Air Ducts?
We have to replace many other components of our HVAC systems, after all–so why not our air duct system?
Eventually, you will probably need to replace your air ducts. They suffer a fair amount of wear and tear through the years and eventually need to be replaced to prevent things like air leaks. A few of the signs you might need to replace your air ducts are:
- Age. If it’s been 10 or 15 years, it might be time to start considering ductwork replacement.
- Decreased Comfort. If your air conditioning just isn’t working like it used to, that could be due to issues with your ductwork. Cleaning might help, but a replacement could be the ultimate answer.
- Unpleasant Odors. Odor-causing bacteria can become trapped in your ducts and circulate through your house with the return flow. Again, while cleaning might help, a replacement may be your ultimate answer.
- Visible Damage. While ductwork is usually out of the way to prevent external damage, dents and punctures do happen and can lead to blockages and issues with your air conditioning.
You can extend the life of your ductwork with regular HVAC maintenance, but eventually, your ductwork will need to be replaced. For a job that big, you’ll want a Plano HVAC company with plenty of experience, as improperly installed ductwork can cause you problems for years to come. For more information about ductwork replacement in Rockwall, Texas and the surrounding areas, contact Lyons Air & Heat today.
Benefits of Proper Ductwork Design and Installation
So, we’ve talked about what happens when your ductwork isn’t functioning correctly and how it might be rectified. Now, let’s talk about what properly designed ductwork can do for you.
There are a couple of essential aspects to good duct design. Here are two of the most important:
First, there are different types of ductwork to choose from. Most people have either flex ducts or rigid sheet metal ducts. A McKinney HVAC contractor from our team can tell you what type of ductwork works best for your home. For instance, flex ducts work best in tight crawl spaces, but sheet metal is more impervious to external damage.
Second, ductwork must be sized correctly. There is a specific amount of linear feet of ductwork you need for every square foot of your house. If your duct system is too big or too small, you may experience inconsistent heating, unconditioned spaces, and energy loss.
The primary benefits of proper duct design are:
When your home has a proper air duct design, your HVAC equipment will run efficiently–moving the most amount of air around your home using the least amount of energy. This will help you save money on heating and cooling bills.
Better Indoor Air Quality
Well-maintained and well-designed ducts will leave you with cleaner air inside your home. If you’re particularly concerned about your indoor air quality, something like an Air Scrubber may also be beneficial for your home.
The point of your HVAC system is to keep you comfortable, and good ductwork is a big part of that. When your ductwork is working correctly and has been properly designed and installed, you’ll experience even temperatures in all conditioned spaces–no cold or hot spots in individual rooms.
In short, good, well-designed ductwork will give you a cleaner and more comfortable home–while badly designed or damaged ductwork can leave your home dusty and uncomfortable and leave your family sneezing and coughing no matter the season.
Call the Rockwall Air Duct Experts at Lyons Air & Heat Today To Learn More
If you’re looking for a Lucas, Texas HVAC company to help you maintain your heating and cooling equipment for years to come, give our North Texas office a call at 469-224-1512. We can help you out with everything from improving your indoor air quality to recommendations on brand-new HVAC replacements. You can also schedule an appointment with our technicians or send us a message online.
To take the headache out of HVAC maintenance, take a look at our Cool Club maintenance plan! For an annual fee, members of the Cool Club will receive discounts on repairs, special priority service, automatic bi-annual tune-ups, free filter replacements, and a whole host of benefits that come with a well-tuned and well-maintained air conditioner.