Posted on: 4 June 2021
Most homeowners replace their air conditioning systems only as components begin to fail and the cost of ongoing repairs becomes unacceptable. As a result, many new installs are less about upgrading and more about restoring a worn-out and struggling system. Rushing to bring your air conditioner back online can mean neglecting several important considerations, however.
Although you probably don't give it nearly as much thought as your condenser unit or air handler, your ductwork is an essential part of your HVAC system. Poorly sized, damaged, or leaking ducts can impact system efficiency and air quality and may even cause other components to wear out more quickly. Addressing your home's ductwork can help you get the most from your new system.
Why Does Your Ductwork Need Attention?
Unlike the rest of your AC system, your ductwork has no moving parts or exposure to the elements. Many homes have ducting that's several decades old carried over from one air conditioning install to the next. Since accessing, removing, or replacing ductwork can be pricey and disruptive, it's a good thing that it's rarely necessary to do large-scale repairs.
The relative durability of your HVAC ductwork doesn't mean that it can't fail, however. Instead, many ductwork problems result from poor installs, careless remodeling, or maintenance issues. For example, incorrect installation or damage caused by working near walls or ceilings can puncture ductwork, leading to leaks. Poor maintenance habits can also cause ducts to become dusty or moldy.
These problems can reduce the efficiency of your air conditioning system, ultimately increasing your utility bills and allowing cool air to flow into unconditioned spaces. If your ducts have significant leaks, you may lose much of the efficiency gains from installing a more modern AC unit. Higher airflow from a new air handler unit may also distribute dust and mold around your home more efficiently.
Resolving Ductwork Issues With Your New Install
When installing a new air conditioning system, it's a good idea to have your contractor perform a leak test on your ductwork. This test will provide a relatively complete picture of your home's ductwork. If you find severe leak issues, then repairing them before installing your new system will allow you to get the most efficiency and value from your new air conditioner.
A video inspection of your ductwork can also reveal issues with dirt or mold build-up. These problems can sometimes develop due to clogged air filters or evaporator issues that increase humidity. Although duct cleaning is rarely required, checking your ducts for problems can provide peace of mind. If you do find significant issues, a professional duct cleaning can restore your home's air quality.
Although they are out of sight and typically out of mind, you should never ignore your home's ducts. Inspecting and repairing them is the best way to keep your home's HVAC running smoothly. Contact residential air conditioning installation contractors to learn more.Share