- Home Improvement
Poor Ductwork Leads to Pressure Problems
Poor ductwork design can be a nightmare for homeowners causing leaks, loss in pressure, and hundreds of dollars annually in additional heating and cooling costs. While you routinely conduct an energy checkfor leaks around windows and doors, few homeowners think to check the ductwork as a source for the problem.
The efficiency of your ductwork systemis vitally important. It's natural for your system to loose some energy by conducting the heat away from the air flowing through the system. Normally this amount can range anywhere from 25 to 40% of the heating or cooling energy. Leaks may cause this number to go even higher. All to often this number spikes much higher due to poor ductwork design either by inefficient installation or improper repairs and updates.
Your ductwork system can be called to the circulatory system of the home. Through a series of rectangular or circular tubes, air flows from the main heating and air unit to the outlets found in each room. Generally made of fiberglass or metal, ducts are well hidden behind walls, ceilings, and attics. Since the system is hidden, most homeowners never think to check the areas they can see, in the basement or attic.
So, how can you tell if your home has an inefficient ductwork system? There are several things which you can check for. First, are there ducts without insulation in unconditioned areas? This may happen in unfinished basements or attics. Without the necessary insulation, air can flow directly out of any crease or crevice in the metalwork. Second, are there any ducts which appear to go nowhere? These blind alleyway ducts draw valuable airflow away from other needed areas. Third, have you noticed any ducts which appear to be disconnected or have broken seals? Any time that happens, you are paying good money to heat and cool areas well outside the livable area of your home. As any homeowner knows, that is a complete waste of money.