Old ductwork in residences is typically leaky ductwork. Studies have shown that many existing residences have ducts that leak at rates exceeding recommended standards. Before a new furnace or A/C is installed, in many locales building codes now require existing ductwork to be pressure-tested to determine extent of leakage and repairs made to meet current standards. Leaks from old ductwork cost you money as conditioned air escapes into the attic, crawl space or the inside of wall cavities. Aging ducts are also implicated in poor indoor air quality.
How can you tell that your old ductwork may be leaking?
- How old is the house? By the time your home passes the 10-year mark, joints between segments of ductwork may begin leaking air. As the house ages, duct material may begin rusting, pinhole leaks increase and spans of ductwork may deteriorate or even collapse entirely.
- Are your heating and cooling costs going up? Gradually increasing heating and cooling bills which can’t be explained by other reasons may signify air loss from leaky old ducts.
- Are room temperatures uniform throughout the house? If you notice that certain rooms — usually those located nearest the furnace or A/C — are sufficiently warm or cool while rooms further away in the ductwork system never seem to be comfortable anymore, you may suspect that air loss from leaky ducts has now exceeded the acceptable limit.
- Do you notice more dust in the air? Duct leaks not only allow conditioned air to escape, they also draw unfiltered air into the system from dusty areas like the attic or inside walls. Symptoms of unhealthy indoor air quality like allergic reactions could be due to leaking ducts.
- Can you see changes in the ductwork? Much of the total span of ductwork in a home is not readily visible. However, where you can get glimpses of ducts, look for signs such as deteriorating joints, corrosion or dark streaks of dust that indicate air leakage.
If you have doubts about the condition of your old ductwork, get a professional opinion from the experts at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
Credit/Copyright Attribution: “bernard-zajac/Shutterstock”