Leaky Ductwork: The 5 Telltale Signs

Published on: August 30, 2012

For those individuals looking for a reason behind the substandard performance of an air conditioning unit, the first place to check is often the ductwork. Regular duct cleaning is absolutely essential to maintaining the overall health of your air conditioning system, which is absolutely essential to maintaining the overall health of the people in your living space as well as your financial health.

Regular duct cleaning leads to higher indoor air quality and less need for expensive visits from air conditioning repairmen. Below are a few of the different ways in which you can tell you need ductwork done immediately.

The Visual Signs of Leaky Ductwork

If your ductwork has been so neglected that you see visual signs, you must call in a licensed professional immediately. Although these are usually the last signs that you will see, we have placed this first in this article because they are the telltale signs of the most advanced problems within your air conditioning unit.

If your ductwork shows cracks or mold growth, you are probably past the point at which a routine duct cleaning will help you. You may need to replace some of the parts in your ductwork, but this will be much less expensive than letting the problem escalate and having to replace the entire air-conditioning unit.

Hearing Things that You Should Not be Hearing

Ducts that are in need of a thorough duct cleaning will make a lot of noise when they are working. This is because ductwork that you can hear has already moved out of place. The air that is being displaced is also moving around inside of the machinery of your air conditioning unit displacing different parts of it.

Hearing things that you should not be hearing in the walls, ceiling or in the attic of your living space means that areas escaping from the duct pathways and moving freely about different parts of your air conditioning unit. You will most likely need professional help in the case of continuously loud noises coming from your air conditioning unit.

Uneven Air Conditioning Performance Between Sections of the House

If you have one part of your living space that is extremely difficult to heat or cool, odds are that you need a duct cleaning. The uneven performance of your air conditioner is a symptom of escaped air from faulty ducts.

This is a situation that should be taken care of immediately because if the air is escaping and heating / cooling parts of the house differently, it is likely that the air is also escaping into places that do not need any conditioning at all. Although you may not notice this, it is still an expenditure of energy that you will have to pay for. This actually leads straightaway into the next telltale sign of a leaky duct.

Higher Heating and Cooling Bills

Perhaps the most telltale sign of leaky ducts will occur when you receive a heating or cooling bill at the end of the month that is much higher than what you’re used to. The escaped air and the increased workload that you are putting on your air conditioning unit because of a structured duct system is increasing the amount of energy that is being used by your system.

Because all of the air that you are using is not flowing into your living space, you most likely have to turn the thermostat up or down more erratically in order to get the effect that you are looking for. You may not notice this change, but there is more energy being used as you do this. This will translate into a higher bill for you at the end of the month.

If you have a bill that is extraordinarily high and you do not know what happened, you should definitely get a immediate duct cleaning and have a professional look for any of the other symptoms that are detailed in this article.

Lower Indoor Air Quality and Other Health Hazards

Leaky air will also translate into a lower indoor air quality. The air that reaches your living space will not be conditioned through the filters and other mechanisms that your air conditioner has clean the air before it gets to you.

If you notice a stifling effect in your indoor air, you may have ducts that are in need of a cleaning. If you cough more then normal or if you notice more pollen agents in your indoor air, you should definitely have your ducts checked out by a licensed professional.

This is perhaps the most important reason to maintain a duct cleaning on a normal basis. There are real health hazards that go along with leaky ducts in an air-conditioning system for you and others within your living space.