Leaky Ductwork: The 5 Telltale Signs

Published on: July 31, 2012

For most modern air-conditioning units, the indoor air quality that is able to provide is directly contingent to the effectiveness of the ductwork inside of the unit. If you have a leaky ductwork, you can definitely expect a lower indoor air quality and perhaps higher costs in bills and maintenance over time.

The savvy consumer will definitely invest in fixing leaky ductwork rather than letting that problem slide and having to pay a great deal more money for the more serious problems that follow. It is also a great investment in your personal health to make sure that your ductwork is always performing to the peak of its potential. The indoor air quality of living space has been shown to directly affect the overall health of people in a significant way. If you or your loved ones are especially susceptible to contaminants from the outside air or pollen agents that invariably find their way inside during the summer months, indoor air quality is definitely something that you want to maintain.

If you have any of the following five symptoms in your air conditioning unit, you may want to get a professional in to check the ducts in your system immediately. You may have a leaky duct that is contributing to a lower quality of life for you and your loved ones.

The first symptom – Indoor air quality will go down.

This is perhaps the most important symptom to take note of because it is the one that directly affects your health. With a duct system that is leaking, the air-conditioning system will not be able to properly condition the air before it enters your living space. This means that many of the contaminants that you would space outside are now inside with you being breathed in an enclosed space.

You may notice that during volatile weather seasons you tend to cough more. You may also see more dust particles in the air inside your home. You may feel stuffy or congested. All of these are signs that your IAQ is not as good as it should be. Immediate steps should be taken to determine if the problem is a leak in your duct system.

The second symptom – You will hear rumblings and bumps in your air conditioning system.

Because the duct system provides passageways for air to move, if there is a leak, air will move inside of your air conditioning system in place is that it does not belong. It will bump into and move other pieces of the air-conditioning system out of place. This will naturally be accompanied by weird and loud sounds inside of your walls, ceiling, attic and basement if you have one.

Depending on the type of movement that is going on within your system, you may hear many different types of noises from a low rumble all the way up to a knocking in the walls. The secret is not to look for any particular noise; it is to be wary of any noise that is not normally there. Many people mistake this type of symptoms for a house settling during the night or some kind of animal stuck in the walls. If you are unsure, have a licensed professional take a look.

The third symptom – You may be able to see fissures in your air conditioning system.

This is usually the last and most telling symptom of ductwork that is leaking. Because the contaminated air is being allowed to move around inside of your air conditioning system at will, it creates an environment for allergens and bacteria to grow. These organisms will naturally break down some of the structure of your air conditioning unit, and if the problem becomes extremely serious, you will be able to see cracks in your air conditioning structure.

If you see these kinds of cracks or if you see algae growing anywhere in your system, the problem has grown beyond the resources of a layman. Get a licensed professional in your system immediately.

The fourth symptom – Your heating bill will skyrocket.

Because the air in a duct system that is leaking will not be directed into the living space, it will escape into places that it has no business being. This means that you will have to turn up the thermostat to create the same climate conditioning. This increase in energy will definitely coincide with an increase in your heating bill.

The fifth symptom – There will be uneven air conditioning between the rooms in your living space.

If you walk from room to room in your house and you notice that the temperature is vastly different from room to room, then you probably have a duct problem that needs to be addressed immediately. Again, this has to do with the free moving air that is not being directed into the living space as it should.