When it comes to maintaining your HVAC system, there is one critical component that many homeowners overlook: the ductwork. If your heater's ductwork is damaged or failing, it could drastically increase your energy bills. This is because any holes, leaks and other problems will allow warm air to ooze out, which means your furnace will need to work overtime to keep your house at an ideal temperature. Here are four clear signs that it's time to replace your heating system's ductwork:
Noticeable Holes and Damage
One of the simplest ways to determine whether or not it's time to replace your ductwork is to examine any visible sections, such as those found in the basement. Examine the sheet metal, flexible, or fiberglass ductwork and mark any areas that feature noticeable wear or holes. Pay close attention to the seams because these are the spots that are most prone to leaks.
If the damage isn't extensive, a professional can simply replace small chunks. However, if there is serious damage, it's best to replace the ductwork completely.
Additionally, depending on the type of system you have, your ductwork may also suffer from mold and mildew damage. Even if this damage isn't extensive, it's best to completely replace the ductwork. It can be difficult to completely eliminate all signs of mold and mildew from the ductwork, and simply replacing noticeably damaged areas won't always get rid of the problem.
Check the Temperature in Each Room
Another way to tell if there is extensive damage in the ductwork that isn't visible to the naked eye is by simply visiting each room in your home. Place your hand in front of the register and if you don't notice heat pouring through when the system kicks on, the issue might be a damaged or blocked duct system.
If there is a noticeable difference in temperatures throughout your home or if you notice there isn't adequate heat coming from the registers, contact an HVAC professional immediately.
Consider a Duct Blower Test
Finally, if you suspect your HVAC's ductwork isn't functioning properly, ask a professional technician to perform a duct blower test. During this test, a technician will blow pressurized air into your system. A computer will then determine how much air leakage there is based upon the air of air that travels through the ductwork and exits the system.
If there is significant leakage, the professional technician may recommend having the ductwork completely overhauled.
Your HVAC's ductwork is an integral part of the system and if it is damaged, you could be wasting big money each month on your unnecessarily high energy bills. If you suspect there is a problem with your system's ductwork, don't hesitate to utilize these simple tests, and to contact a professional in heating services.