HVAC Tips / April 23, 2019

3 Things Homeowners Should Know About Ductwork

Your home’s heating and cooling system has many components. From the outdoor units and vents to indoor air handlers and filters, these elements are all crucial for moving and conditioning air in and out of the home. Unfortunately, many homeowners do not realize a key component of their HVAC system is hidden in the walls, crawlspace, basement, and attic of their home — the ductwork.

The ductwork system provides a clear path for air to move in and out of the home effectively for conditioning purposes. If your ductwork has issues, your system will struggle to heat and cool the home properly, which causes discomfort and increases your energy costs.

Therefore, proper understanding of your ductwork is imperative. Here are a few things homeowners need to know about their system’s ductwork:

    1. Ductwork Installation and Replacement Procedures
      The ductwork is installed during the initial rough-in of your heating and cooling system. This occurs during the early stages of the home’s construction. On average, ductwork has a lifespan of 20 to 25 years. However, you may want to replace your ductwork when it is around 15 years of age to ensure your system works efficiently. Of course, some instances occur where you may need to replace all or sections of your ductwork sooner rather than later.
    2. Damaged Ductwork Dangers
      Without replacing damaged ductwork, you may set your home, your family, and your finances up for big problems.As mentioned previously, damaged ductwork will not move air efficiently or effectively in and out of the home, which reduces the system’s ability to heat and cool. This can lead to temperature imbalances inside the home, which can make you and your family uncomfortable, especially during excessively hot and cold seasons. An estimated 25 to 30 percent of energy is lost through damaged ductwork too. This loss of conditioned air reduces the energy efficiency of your system and can increase your monthly energy bills.Dirt, dust, pollen, mold, and humidity are all issues you may face because of damaged ductwork. Allergens can enter through holes and tears in the ductwork, and eventually make their way into your home, causing allergy symptoms.Also, loss of air through damaged ductwork will prevent your air conditioning from pulling both heat and humidity from the air. Higher levels of humidity lead to allergy symptoms, mold growth, and more serious respiratory problems.Replacing your ductwork is your best option to ensure your heating and cooling system works comfortably and conditions the air in your home without an increase in energy costs.
    3. Commonly Used Ductwork Materials
      Most homeowners are surprised by the different materials that are used to create ductwork. Each material offers its own set of pros and cons, so understanding your options is wise, especially if you are replacing your ductwork.Galvanized steel is the most commonly used material for creating ductwork. The galvanized steel ducts are lined with fiberglass blankets and the exterior steel surface is wrapped in duct wrap for extra insulation.Although less common than galvanized steel, aluminum ducts are also an option to consider. Aluminum is not only easy to cut and shape to your needs, but it is also easy to install because of its flexibility.Many homeowners use fiberglass ductwork today. Fiberglass duct board offers built-in thermal insulation and sound absorption that ensures your air is transferred efficiently and quietly.Finally, your contractor may recommend flexible ductwork. Also known as flex, flexible ducting can be configured into a variety of ways, making it a great option for complicated home layouts.

For information on inspecting or replacing your ductwork, contact Mauzy Heating, Air & Solar today.

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