The need for air conditioning duct replacement and repair typically comes with a few signs that indicate there’s a problem. Overall comfort, air quality and energy efficiency can all be reduced when air duct systems aren’t working properly. Here are a few signs that you might need air conditioning duct repair.
* There are variations in room temperature. Warm and cold spots aren’t normal. A fully-functioning duct system will circulate cool air uniformly.
* A room suddenly develops stuffy air or increased humidity. This isn’t likely to happen unless there’s an issue within your duct system.
* Energy bills are significantly higher. Air conditioning systems work harder to deliver cool air and maintain room temperatures when the ducting can’t perform at peak efficiency.
It’s important to keep all of the above signs in mind because you’re not likely to be able to see the entire duct system. It’s a network that can run through your floors, walls, ceilings, attic and basement. A professional air conditioning technician can easily determine the existence and location of any ductwork leaks or breaks anywhere within your home. Early detection will stop the flow of money.
Disconnected or loose air duct connections drastically reduce the efficiency of the entire system. Air leaks in supply ducts allow cooled air to escape into crawl spaces and other obscure areas. It’s like blowing money into the air. Leaks in the return ducts can pull warm, stale, unconditioned air into the cooling system and into your rooms. It’s pulling money out of your pockets to pay for high energy bills.
Reasons To Replace Your AC Duct System
Expertly designed duct work maximizes the capacity of your HVAC equipment. It’s the most important element of your entire system. Regardless of the size of your air conditioner unit, you’re going to sacrifice comfort, money and energy unless you have an efficient duct design.
Most home owners are getting less than 60% cooling capacity even from their newly installed energy-efficient units due to having an inefficient duct system. You don’t have to settle for less than 3 tons of cooling capacity from a 5 ton unit! The returned air volume has to support the supply end of the cycle. Duct replacement often includes the addition or enlarging of a return.
Cooling demands vary along with the characteristics of the rooms. Room sizes and the amount of windows make a difference. Professionally trained technicians can balance the need and capacity of every room using the appropriate ducting replacement.
Duct insulation also improves efficiency. It’s estimated that the air inside non-insulated ducts can increase by a few degrees in temperature for every 100 feet that it travels. The recommended R-value varies by climate. In warm locations like Hawaii, Florida and California, R-4 to R-8 values are appropriate. The most commonly used is R-6.
In California, a leader in taking steps to improve indoor air quality and conserve energy, there are mandates (in place since Oct. 1, 2005) that require testing for duct leaks whenever a central air conditioning unit is either installed or replaced. Any ducts with 15% or more leakage have to be repaired.