February 12, 2024

The ductwork in your Hanover home is a vital part of the HVAC system. All homeowners should know about the common issues, the various components that make up their system, and the maintenance needs of ductwork. This will all help you to quickly recognize problems and keep your home’s ductwork in the best condition possible.

Ductwork Components

Several parts make up your home’s ductwork system. The supply ducts are usually on ceilings, walls, or floors. They are responsible for transporting the air to the rooms in your home from the HVAC system. You will find the return ducts in a central location, such as ceiling cavities or hallways. These will take air from your rooms and return it to your HVAC unit.

The grilles and air registers function as intake points for return air. They also control the level of airflow in rooms. There are plenums at the ductwork and HVAC unit junction that connect your duct system to your HVAC unit.

HVAC Ductwork Types

You can choose from different types of HVAC ductwork. Flexible ducts have a metal inner cord or flexible plastic, an outer layer, and insulation. This type is versatile, easy to install, and ideal for areas that have limited access. Sheet metal ducts are usually galvanized steel. They are long-lasting, durable, and less vulnerable to damage.

Fiberglass duct board has an outer coating over fiberglass insulation. It is resistant to moisture, lightweight, and good for thermal insulation. There are also rigid fiberglass ducts made from rigid fiberglass boards that are particularly durable with strong insulative properties.

Installing Ductwork

It is imperative to have a professional install your ductwork. With proper installation, you will have reduced energy waste, efficient airflow, and enhanced system performance. A professional will come and inspect your home to ensure that the ductwork is the right size and matches the capacity of your HVAC system.

Professionals will properly seal all of the connections and joints to minimize the leakage of air. They do this via the use of metal or mastic tape. In unconditioned spaces, they will insulate the ducts to prevent heat gain or loss. They will also ensure the proper location of your ductwork so that it works as efficiently as possible.

Ductwork Maintenance and Cleaning

The general recommendation is to have ductwork cleaning and maintenance every three to five years. They will start by doing a visual inspection to look for loose connections, damage, or disconnected sections. This part of the process also includes looking for possible obstructions and ensuring that airflow is consistent.

You should have a professional thoroughly clean your ducts on a regular schedule. This will remove dirt, debris, and other impurities. Without proper cleaning, these impurities get pushed out through the vents and can harm your home’s indoor air quality.

They will check the insulation and sealing of your ductwork. To prevent air leaks, they will reseal any joints or connections that need it. A professional will replace any sections of insulation that have damage. They will pay particular attention to unconditioned areas of your home, such as crawl spaces or your attic. These may require additional insulation to reduce the risk of the air passing through the ducts to experience temperature changes.

Talk to a professional about changing your HVAC filters if you don’t already know how to change them on your own. You should use the manufacturer’s guidelines and the professional’s advice to ensure that you change them regularly to help ensure efficient and clean airflow.

Optimizing Ductwork Efficiency

Regular cleaning and maintenance are vital for optimal ductwork efficiency, but there are some other things you can do too. Throughout your home, you can balance the airflow. A professional can help you to properly adjust your ductwork dampers for this purpose.

Use a high-efficiency air filter for your HVAC system. This helps reduce debris and dust to keep your ductwork cleaner for longer. A professional can help you to choose the best and most efficient filter for your HVAC system.

Consider installing air dampers in your ducts. These allow you to adjust and control the flow of air to different spaces in your home. You can determine the individual needs of the different rooms in your home and optimize the airflow for each one.

Common Ductwork Problems

Homeowners should be aware of the most common ductwork problems. Recognizing these issues and understanding why they occur can help you to know when to call in a professional.

Leaky ductwork can cause conditioned air to leak out, wasting energy. This could also cause uneven cooling or heating throughout your home. If you notice that your home’s airflow is uneven or certain rooms feel drafty, your ductwork may be poorly balanced. A professional can come in and adjust your dampers. With properly balanced airflow, every room in your home will receive sufficient and even airflow and maintain a steadier temperature.

In some cases, something could be restricting the airflow. Check the air vents and make sure that there are no obvious obstructions, such as boxes, debris, or furniture. If this does not solve the issue, you should call a professional to come in and inspect your ductwork. Your ducts may have too many turns, bends, or sharp angles, which could reduce efficiency and make it harder for air to flow smoothly through your duct system.

Over time, aging or poor insulation could lead to disconnected ducts. Air will escape before it can reach your vents and throughout your home. You might notice that the temperature in your home does not match the thermostat. Age-related damage in your ducts, such as tears or punctures, could be to blame. A professional can assess the damage and determine if they can fix it or if they need to replace the damaged ductwork.

Inadequate return air is a relatively common issue. If this occurs, it could result in reduced system efficiency and pressure imbalances. Make sure that there are no obstructions by your return air vents. A professional can also look at them to ensure that they are the right size since improper sizing could also cause this problem.

Ducts in cool spaces without insulation could be susceptible to condensation if there is excessive humidity. This is a potential issue for ductwork in crawl spaces or basements. Over time, this moisture could cause duct material deterioration, mold growth, and reduced efficiency. A professional will come out and inspect all of your ductwork to see if they can make improvements to the insulation to prevent condensation problems.

HVAC Experts in Hanover

With this information, Hanover homeowners can maintain their ductwork more effectively and efficiently. Our team is here to help with any maintenance, cleaning, or repairs you need. We can also assist with all of your home’s other HVAC needs as well as your carbon monoxide detectors and indoor air quality needs.

Contact Beltway Air Conditioning & Heating in Hanover today to learn more about maintaining your home’s ductwork.

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