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Ductwork Problems You May EncounterEven if you’ve sealed your home with caulk and weather stripping to stop air leaks, you still may have problems that are zapping your energy efficiency. Among the chief culprits may be ductwork problems.

Before energy conservation became important in home building, HVAC ductwork was often cobbled together with hex head screws that did little more than hold two pieces of duct together. Sometimes these ducts were sealed with duct tape. This is the worst way to seal joints because duct tape dries out and cracks, allowing joints to open and leak.

Even after proper sealing, other ductwork problems can arise. These consist mostly of air flow obstructions in the ducts that force the air handler to work harder to push cool air through the ducts.

Other common obstructions

Air filter – The No. 1 cause of poor efficiency in an HVAC system is a dirty air filter. As debris accumulates on the surface of the filter the available space for air to flow through is reduced. This reduction in air flow causes the blower fan to work harder to draw air into the system.

Blower fan – A dirty blower fan causes the motor to run hotter than normal and use more energy to pull air into the system. It also reduces the ability of the fan to circulate cooled air through the system.

Fire and zone dampers – If the fire damper gets stuck in a partially closed position it can reduce air flow rate significantly.

Flexible ductwork – If you have flexible ductwork with a kink in it or that has become crushed, airflow can be hampered.

Insulation – Internal duct insulation can sometimes collapse in the ducts and cause blockages.

Pests –If you’ve noticed a bad smell coming from your ducts accompanying a loss of air flow, you could have a dead animal lodged in the ductwork.

If you suspect an airflow problem in your home, contact the experts at Aladdin Heating & Cooling. We can diagnose and repair all of your ductwork problems.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Detroit, Michigan about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about ductwork problems and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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