Central heating and air conditioning systems rely on ducts to distribute the heating and cooling they provide throughout your home.The ductwork must properly divide up the heating and cooling, so that each room gets the amount it needs. Additionally, ductwork needs to minimize any heating or cooling losses. Airflow problems and air leakage are not uncommon and cause efficiency losses. Air conditioners and furnaces require certain airflow rates to operate efficiently, and air leaks waste the heated or cooled air. Additionally, the return and supply flow needs to be balanced. If you’re wondering what shape your ducts are in, there are a few things you’ll want to examine, including:
- Duct joints: Make sure duct joints are sealed. If they’re not, seal them, using mastic or a certified metal-backed tape. If you don’t want to do this job yourself, contact your HVAC-system contractor.
- Air filter: As an air filter gets dirty, its resistance to airflow increases, which can lead to inefficiently low airflow rates.
- Blower fan: Dirty fan blades reduce the fan’s ability to move air and supply appropriate airflow.
- Damaged ductwork: Damaged areas of ductwork may have air leakage or create excessive resistance to airflow. This is especially important to check for if you have flex ducts, because they are more easily damaged.
- Return grilles: For balanced airflow, the air needs a clear path to get to the return grilles. Ductwork needs to be designed so that the flow between the supply and return grilles isn’t obstructed by closed doors. Ideally, each room should have a return-air grille. You also should make sure that grilles aren’t blocked by furniture or other obstructions.
- Dampers: Make sure dampers aren’t stuck in a closed or semi-closed position that interferes with airflow.
The best way to determine the condition of your ducts is having them examined by a professional. At Senica Air Conditioning, Inc., we’re happy to help you with that job or any of your other home-comfort needs. We are proud to provide quality heating and cooling services to Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater residents.