by Cooper Climate Control
If you have lived in the Valley-Metro area long enough to have experienced the summer, you just might consider your air conditioning unit to be one of the most important parts of your home. We do too! A typical AC unit is designed to use refrigeration to chill indoor air by absorbing heat. Once the air has been chilled it needs to be distributed, and that’s where air ducts come in. You don’t want leaky air ducts! Air ducts are a system of hollow tubes that carry cooled air throughout your home. They are located in your ceiling, walls, and floors and are arguably one of the most important parts of your air conditioning system because without them, the cooled air would have nowhere to go. Because they play such a large role, it’s important that we take care of them and keep them in good shape. Leaky air ducts can cause lots of trouble and end up costing you lots of money. Read on to learn about the problems associated with leaky air ducts so you can prevent these issues from happening to you.
High monthly bills When there is a leak anywhere in the air duct line it causes the cooled air that is going through the line to escape into the attic instead of its intended destination. You are basically paying lots of money to cool your attic, which makes no sense at all! Because cool air is not reaching the living portion of your home, your AC unit is constantly running in attempt to cool the rooms below. And constant use of your AC system means you are using tremendous amounts of energy, which is something you will pay for every month. The Department of Energy says that a leak in your air duct causes your system to use 30% more energy, and that’s a lot!
Creates pressure inside the home Leaky supply air ducts create what is called negative pressure, which means that outside air is being pulled inside your home. Negative pressure is dangerous and can cause severe health problems. According to the Department of Energy, in the summertime when your air conditioner has cooled the inside walls, warm moist outdoor air is sucked into the house through cracks in walls and around windows and doors. When this moist air hits inside chilled walls, it can condense into water and cause mold and mildew. Breathing in mold and mildew can cause serious long-term health effects and can be dangerous for your whole family, especially children and the elderly. Negative pressure in the home can also create back drafting dangers. Back drafting is when vented appliances like dryers and fireplaces release fumes that should be going outside into your home. Fireplaces and dryers produce hazardous chemicals such as carbon monoxide but are designed to push these chemicals outside of your home. If you have a leak in your air duct, the pressure will draw the air into your home and contaminate the air that you are breathing.
Causes hot and cold spots Has there ever been a time when you went in a room and it felt like the air conditioner wasn’t on at all, and then went into another room and it was freezing cold? If the answer is yes, chances are there is a leak somewhere in one of your air ducts. Having a tear in a duct that leads to one room will cause all the cooled air to spill out of the line before it can enter the designated room. If you have a leak in your system it causes the CFM’s, or the measurement of the velocity of the air as it flows in or out of a room, to go down. The uneven flow of air creates pressure differences which is why some rooms will get really cold and some will get really hot. All rooms should be basically the same temperature if the AC system is running correctly, and if not then something is wrong.
Makes your home dirty! Who wants to do extra house cleaning? We sure don’t, and we’re guessing you don’t either! And if you have a leaky air duct, you will be cleaning all the time. See, the holes inside the duct line will suck up dust, dirt, and other contaminants that are inside your home. After they have been sucked up through the holes, they get blown out through the air vents that are in each of your rooms. This not only causes your home to get covered in dirt and disease, but it also creates problems with the quality of air that you and your family breathe. Now that you know about the problems associated with leaky air ducts, the next question is how do they tear and when should they be replaced? While there are ways to patch up a duct line, we at Cooper Climate Control recommends having the whole line replaced instead of patching one hole at a time. Patching the line still causes the system to work harder, which will still increase energy bills to a certain degree. Also, there are parts of the duct line that are hard to see and typically if there is a tear you can see, there is probably a tear somewhere you can’t see. The best thing to do is replace the whole line to ensure the problem is completely addressed. As you can see, duct lines play an important role to your air conditioning system. Routine maintenance and checkups can keep your system running more efficiently and can save you from having larger, more expensive problems in the long run. Cooper Climate Control, your Heating & Cooling Specialists are trained to recognize even the smallest problem in your AC system, and fixing those problems while they are small is a lot better than waiting until they get out of hand! Give us a call today!