The air ducts are a part of the HVAC system in which air flows through various parts of your house. Hence, they play a critical role as another unit in ensuring that your Azle, TX home is comfortable. They also form the most significant part of a heating and air conditioning system. If the air ducts spring a leakage, various problems might arise, as you’ll learn below. However, the largest one is energy loss. When the air ducts are leaky, the cooled or heated air escapes before reaching your indoor space, meaning that the HVAC system will need to work harder to cool your home efficiently.
Unfortunately, this means the air conditioner will use more energy than it should. By working harder, the unit is also exposed to wear and tear. Hence, you might have to replace some components prematurely. According to Energy Star, any leaking air ducts have a 20% lower energy efficiency. The best way to avoid any air duct leaks is to insulate and seal them and have a regular inspection and maintenance service by an air conditioning services professional. In this article, you’ll learn how you can know the air ducts are leaking; an AC repair technician inspects them for leaks and the impacts of leaking air ducts.
Signs of Air Duct Leaks
The AC Strains to Cool or Heat Your Home
Whenever you turn on the air conditioner on any hot day, you expect it will cool your home. The unit should be able to make your home more comfortable within 1-2 hours. However, if the air conditioner has to run for hours to ensure your indoor space is cooled and eventually doesn’t bring in enough air to cool it, you might be having a ductwork leakage issue. Additionally, any of the many other unit components might have a problem. If an air duct leakage causes the issue, the unit will not sufficiently cool your home no matter the number of hours it runs. You should call a technician to inspect the unit whenever you notice this.
The air conditioning services provider will seal the leaks and insulate the ductwork to ensure that cooled air doesn’t escape the outer environment. If the air ducts have a leakage, the air conditioning system will struggle to keep your home comfortable, especially on warmer days. You can avoid this by having a technician’s routine air conditioning inspection and maintenance.
Your Home Has Some Areas That Are Never Cooled
Have you noticed that some rooms or areas in your home are never cooled? If some spots never cool, even if the air conditioner is running, that should be a cause for alarm. This is because the air conditioner should distribute the air in different parts to cool them whenever it is on. Additionally, every room at your home should be cooled similarly. Uneven cooling is often a telltale sign of leaks in your air ducts and a reason to have an air conditioning repair service. These leaks stop the cooled air from entering the different rooms at your home. Therefore, whenever you notice that some rooms aren’t cooled while some are cooler than others, it is time to call an air conditioning service provider to inspect the air conditioner for leaks and other issues with the air ducts.
Higher Than Usual Energy Utility Bills
Have your energy bills suddenly skyrocketed? When do they sharply increase? When running the air conditioner? If you determine that the energy utility bills increase whenever the air conditioner runs, that is more of a sign that the air ducts might have a leakage. However, the energy utility bills might increase during the summer months, and that is natural because the air conditioner is running more to cool your Azle, TX, home.
If the utility bills increase for no reason, it might signify that the unit is running longer than it normally does. There are many reasons your air conditioner might run longer to cool your home, including leaky air ducts. Whenever the AC pushes the air into the leaky ductwork, some of it is lost, meaning the cooling efficiency takes a toll. Thus, you will notice more extended cooling periods.
This is the main reason why you should keep your energy utility bills filled so that you can make the comparison over time. Whenever you notice a persistent spike in electricity utility bills, enlist the services of an air conditioning services provider in inspecting the unit. If they find ductwork leaks to be the issue, they will patch the leakage to ensure that your home is cooled efficiently.
The AC Seems to Make Your Home Dusty
It isn’t uncommon to find dust in some homes, with an average home accumulating about 40 pounds of dust per year. Hence, you shouldn’t Freak out because you’ve seen some extra dust at home. However, should you see dust all over the furniture, utensils, walls, and other things at your home, that should be a cause for concern. Look for the root cause of the issue. However, you might most likely ignore one sneaky culprit: the air ducts.
If the ductwork is leaky, your home might become dustier than it usually is because the dust enters the air ducts through the walls and travels into the other parts of your home. The air conditioning service provider will patch the leaks to reduce the dust entering your home. This also ensures that the family members don’t develop breathing issues.
The Air Conditioner Seems to Affect Indoor Air Quality
The leaks in the ductwork can do more than just distribute dust into your home; they also might spread fumes and mold that might impact your family’s respiratory wellbeing. Whenever your ductworks are leaky, there is a chance that they will push the air into your home from outside. If mold develops within the ductworks or at the filter, it will also be blown into your home. The leaky ductworks might also pull air from your basement and walls and distribute it to other parts of your Azle, TX, home. This might prove problematic, especially if pesticides and paint thinners are stored in your basement. The fumes from such products will work their way up into your home, taking a toll on your family’s health. Be sure to have a routine inspection and servicing of the air conditioner by a professional air conditioning service provider.
Is your air conditioner almost in need of constant repairs? That might be because it is old. If so, that shouldn’t be a cause for concern. You should start pondering about a new air conditioner installation. However, if the air conditioner isn’t old and has started demanding constant repairs, that should concern you. It might be a sign of an air duct leakage, more of a reason to call for an inspection air conditioning service. The more the air conditioner is operational daily, the more likely you’ll need it replaced prematurely. By having duct cleaning, sealing, and insulation AC services, you can cut back on the routine use of the air conditioner and avert frequent air conditioner repairs.
The AC System Is Aged
Although the air conditioner is designed to last for years, it isn’t an everlasting appliance. Ductworks might need to be replaced after 10-15 years. However, there are some ways that you can ensure that you get the best out of your ductworks. For instance, you can have a plan for regular duct cleaning air conditioning service to ensure that the air ducts are free of any obstructions and clean always.
However, if you know that the air ducts are becoming old, then you can safely assume that there are some leaks in them. Hence, ensure they are inspected for leakages and have air conditioning services whenever necessary. To be safe, ensure you’ve planned for ductwork replacement early enough. You don’t want them falling on you during that scorching summer.
The leaky air ducts might have a toll on your AC compressor and the indoor air quality with time. Please don’t keep the air ducts out of your mind because they are out of sight. They are critical, have them in your mind always. This is the only way to ensure that they remain operational and serve you for an extensive period.
Inspecting For Air Duct Leaks
As you’ve seen above, many signs of air duct leakage exist. However, you’ve also learned that you can ensure that the air ducts remain pristine by having an air conditioning service in Azle, TX, to clean, inspect, and maintain the ductwork. So how will the professional inspect them? What ways will they use it? Below are six air duct inspection methods that the technician can use to detect and patch the leaks.
Visual Inspection of The Ductwork
Whenever the professional comes to your home for air conditioning service, they will go into the basement, attic, or wherever your air ducts are. After locating the ductwork, they might use flashlights and watch out for holes and gaps in the air ducts. The technician will also check the air ducts’ insulation for damage like mold and damp spots.
If the air ducts have damp areas, that is a sign of obstructions in the ducts, and you need to have a duct cleaning service. If they detect leaky ductworks, the professional might advise that you replace the air ducts since they’ll leak sooner or later. If the air conditioning service provider finds that ducts are clogged, they will offer a duct cleaning service. On the other hand, if the air ducts have sprung a leakage, the professional will patch or seal the leaks.
Check the Duct Joints
The professional knows the points in the air ducts that are most likely to spring leaks. They will inspect the areas around the seams where the sections of the air ducts meet (duct joints). Most of the strain is on the duct joints, meaning they are highly likely to wear out faster than in other areas. The air conditioning service provider will place their hand on the joints and use their senses to detect leaks. If they’ve sprung a leak, air will start escaping through a crack or a hole. At times, the tear on the air ducts is large enough that the air leakage is visible as steam comes out with force.
Finding Leaks Using Smoke Tests
The other method that the AC service can use to find leaks in your air ducts is smoke tests. This is efficient whenever the visual inspection methods have failed. The technician will use a tool to release smoke into the air ducts. Some crafty homeowners use a smoke pencil or an incense stick to conduct this test. The smoke-producing item is moved along the ductwork. If they notice the smoke getting blown off or moved around, that is a sign that the area has a leakage. The air conditioning service professional marks the affected areas and seals or patches them to ensure cooled air gets into your Azle, TX, home without escaping.
Looking Out For Aged Duct Tapes
When inspecting the air ducts, if the air conditioning service technician notices an old duct tape from a previous repair, air might have forced its way out from that spot. Although duct tapes can fix air duct leakages, they are only temporary fixes. The air conditioning service technician will replace the duct tape and seal the leakage with a mastic sealant.
Air Duct Leak Test
All the above methods are just trial and error. However, the air conditioning service provider in Azle, TX, might conduct a duct leakage test to determine if the air ducts have sprung a leak. This method uses specialized equipment to run a pressurized test and determine if the air is leaking from the pinholes in your air ducts. It helps measure the leaks in unconditioned and conditioned parts in your home. Further, it helps pinpoint the precise location of the leakage issue. The AC service provider will patch the air ducts using various materials.
Call One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Fort Worth
Do you need an air conditioning service in your Azle, TX home? Don’t hesitate to call out technicians at One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Fort Worth. They are adequately equipped, licensed, and skilled to offer a range of air conditioning services. Our duty is to ensure you get quality and comfortable conditioned air.