Leaky Ductwork: The 5 Telltale Signs

Published on: July 31, 2012

If your air conditioning unit is in need of an air duct cleaning, it is most likely letting you know right now. However, most people do not know how to read the signs that quite evidently show a need for a maintenance check or even a more thorough inspection of the ducts in their air-conditioning system.

Below are the five major signs that an air duct cleaning is long overdue for your system. If you have an air duct cleaning and the symptoms named below persist, you may have a more serious problem. Dirty ducts can lead to leaky ducts in more ways than one. If the leaks in your ducts are too big to be fixed by a routine maintenance call, your problems have progressed past the point of the layman. Have a licensed professional take a look at your ducts immediately if an air duct cleaning does not fix the problem.

The First Telltale Sign of Leaky Ductwork – You will hear it.

Ducts that are leaking air will not do it quietly. Because the air will be escaping from the pathways on which it is supposed to go, it will naturally be moving other parts of the air-conditioning unit around in ways that those parts were not meant to move. This will cause you to hear many different types of noises, from low rumblings like a washing machine that is unbalanced to large bumpy noises in your walls and ceiling.

The Second Telltale Sign of Leaky Ductwork – You will feel it.

The second indication that you may have a leak in your ducts is an uneven conditioning of air throughout your living space. Because air that is not directed will move wherever it pleases, it will naturally cause drastic temperature differences in different rooms of your home.

If you notice that the temperature rises or drops dramatically when you step into another room, you most likely have a leak in your ducts that needs to be immediately addressed.

The Third Telltale Sign of Leaky Ductwork – You will pay for it.

Ducts that are leaking will also cause a much higher heating and cooling bill review every month. This is because all of the conditioned air that is lost and not entering your living space must still be paid for.

Even though you do not feel the effects of air that does not go through your duct system properly, it is escaping into other areas of your house such as your walls and ceiling. This means that you must turn up the thermostat to compensate for the loss of conditioned air. You probably will not notice that you are doing this, but the energy that you are using is definitely increasing. This will naturally coincide with an increase in your energy bill at the end of each month.

The changes in your bill will usually not be subtle. However, even if you do notice a small change for a trend that is occurring over a long period of time, this could also be an indication of a leak within your air conditioning system. Get it checked out immediately by a licensed professional.

The Fourth Telltale Sign of Leaky Ductwork – You will breathe it.

Air that is leaking will also not be properly conditioned as it should. It may skip your filtration system altogether depending on the size of the leak. This will naturally increase the amount of contaminants that are in your indoor living space.

If you are susceptible to allergens or pollen agents within your airspace, you may begin to cough much more or experience allergic reactions when you turn on your air conditioner. Even if you are not allergic to pollen or other contaminants from the outside air, you may notice that your air seems more stuffy inside. This is a result of higher contamination in your indoor air. If you notice this, you may have a leaky system. Make sure to get it checked out as soon as possible.

The Fifth Telltale Sign of Leaky Ductwork – You will see it.

The fifth and most telling sign of ducts that are leaking within your air conditioning system is that you will actually begin to see some of the erosion and corrosion that comes from this process.

Ducts that are leaking also lead to condensation and create an environment for algae and other types of mold. This mold can break down the scaffolding and the structure of your entire air-conditioning unit. If the process has moved to a point at which you can see fissures in your unit, it has progressed past the point of a layman. You must get a licensed professional into the situation immediately to see exactly where the leak is coming from and whether it can be fixed or if you are in need of a complete overhaul.