How Can I Tell If My Ductwork Is Damaged?

Spotting ductwork damage isn’t always easy. To make matters more complicated, the duct system branches throughout your home, delivering conditioned air to every room, and returning air back to your HVAC equipment. Ductwork problems can cause air leakage, which reduces energy efficiency, and indoor air quality problems. Sometimes air duct cleaning can resolve an issue, but physical damage can mean HVAC air duct sealing and other professional work is required.

If there is damage somewhere in your air ducts, these are some signs you might notice:

Inconsistent Temperatures

If some parts of your home or hotter or colder than others, an air duct may be leaking or obstructed. Ducts are designed to provide the same conditioned air to each room. If this isn’t the case, they might not have been installed right to begin with. But if you suddenly notice one room is dramatically different in temperature from another, a duct may be blocked or damaged.

Noisy When Running

Some rumbling or knocking isn’t a cause for concern. Extreme booming, banging, and popping, however, can be a sign of damage such as a hole or rupture in a duct or a loose joint or fitting. Ductwork can also become noisy with wear and tear, which can be accelerated by running your system constantly at its maximum setting.

Inconsistent Airflow

If the airflow has steadily decreased, or fluctuates, despite keeping the system at the same setting, there may be a duct leak, obstruction, or serious damage. The issue can be with the supply or return side or an improper adjustment. In some cases, a duct system not compatible with your AC or heater may be the culprit.

Mold & Mildew Smells

The musty smell of mold and mildew may be from your ductwork. Mold can grow in an environment where temperatures are uneven; and moisture and high humidity can accelerate the growth of mold and mildew. If left unchecked, this can cause major damage to furniture and building materials, air quality issues, and health problems.

High Energy Usage

An increase in energy usage, most often evident as a higher utility bill, can be caused by ductwork issues. Poorly designed ducts can waste energy. A leak can cause conditioned air to escape into the attic or outside your home, meaning your HVAC system must work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature.

Dust Throughout Home

Excessive dust doesn’t necessarily mean your home is dirty. It can mean you need HVAC repair services, because a hole in an air duct or leaky duct joint may be letting in high amounts of dirt and dust. Anything that gets in the ducts will be blown along with conditioned air.

Pest Infestation

Rats, mice, and other pests can fester in ductwork, especially if there are holes and crevices to shelter in. Signs of a pest infestation include foul odors, visible droppings, or dead insects. Tiny pests can establish colonies in a duct and even spread bacteria and other microbes.

Contact Black Hills Inc. Home Services

We provide HVAC, plumbing, and electrical repair services in the Olympia area. Customers have trusted us for AC installation since 1993, and we can maintain your system by providing air duct cleaning and HVAC air duct sealing. Licensed and bonded, our company is available 24/7 to provide the HVAC service you need. If you suspect there is air duct damage in your home, call us right away at 888-834-7479.