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4 Duct System Issues That Can Undermine Heating And Cooling Efficiency

4 Duct System Issues That Can Undermine Heating And Cooling EfficiencyYour ductwork may be dependable or you may have duct system issues. When it works, your ductwork delivers enough air to the individual rooms in your home, ensuring comfort and energy savings. When a duct system has issues, all of these benefits become compromised.

Because ductwork is often hidden, it can be difficult to tell when it’s not working right. You can use these telltale signs to know if duct system issues are in play:

  • Uninsulated ducts – This tell-tale duct problem results in significant energy losses through conduction in the metal duct pipes. Heat transfer occurs through duct walls that run through areas of the home that do not receive conditioned air, like a basement or attic. The heated air moving through the ducts loses some of its energy to the surrounding cooler air, and when it arrives at the rooms in your home, it has cooled off more than it should have. As a result, you may experience hot or cold zones in your home. To ensure comfort, you’ll have to raise the thermostat setting, causing your HVAC system to work harder and consume more energy. (The same thing happens during the cooling season, except that heat from outside the ducts is getting inside.)
  • Duct leaks – Some leaks may be difficult to visually locate, but you can pass the flame of a lighter over duct connections; wavering smoke reveals a leak. Duct leaks cause problems similar to uninsulated ducts: not enough conditioned air arrives in your home’s living spaces, leading to overworked HVAC equipment, and higher energy consumption and utility bills.
  • Blind ducts – Poorly designed ductwork may result in a duct run that leads to no-man’s land, or a supply register that doesn’t connect to a duct.
  • Poor return system – Ideally, the duct system should have a return grille in every room that has a supply register to optimize airflow delivery and return. Without an adequate return system, your HVAC equipment becomes starved for air, forcing a furnace located in a basement to consume cooler air to generate heat, and consuming more energy to do so.

If you’ve identified duct system issues, you need professional help. Contact Climate Control Company for expert advice regarding problematic ductwork and reaching optimal efficiency. We’ve been providing expert HVAC services to western Colorado homeowners since 1956.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Aspen, Vail and the surrounding Western slope communities in Colorado about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about duct system issues and other HVAC topics, please visit our website.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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