Ducts don’t get a lot of love.
In fact, in most cases ducts don’t get any love.
Not only are ducts typically located in difficult to access and nearly impossible to see places inside the average home, but also when things go wrong, it is usually the air conditioner or furnace that takes the blame.
This is the case whether or not there is actually anything wrong with the HVAC components themselves.
According to Energy Star, up to 30 percent of the air your furnace or A/C unit produces is lost in just one place – duct leaks.
That is a lot of hot or cool air you’re paying for and not using.
In this post, we offer our best and brightest duct tune-up tips to trim your energy bills and keep you healthier, too.
How Old Are Your Ducts?
Have you ever stopped to wonder how old the ductwork is in the average Canadian home – or in your home?
Most of us haven’t. But statistically speaking, we know that 62 percent of Canadians live in homes built between 1950 and 1999.
We also know that central (ducted) air conditioning wasn’t widely available until the 1970s.
What this tells us is that there are likely some pretty old duct systems right here in Ontario!
What Is the Life Expectancy of a Duct System?
A well-built, well-maintained ductwork system can theoretically last as long as 30 years.
But as you now know, this doesn’t describe most residential ductwork systems.
A solid system of ducts can last up to 15 years before you will see some major deterioration.
This is because the materials used to make ducts will begin to degrade over time. This is especially the case when ducts are located in unheated, non-air-conditioned areas where cold, heat and humidity cause the natural expansion and contraction of ducts.
This, in turn, causes loosening of the seals that connect each duct to the network. Humidity and moisture can also lead to rust, which over time will eat right through the metal and cause holes.
Now it is easier to see why Energy Star estimates up to 30 percent of temperature-controlled air in the average home today gets lost before it ever gets far enough to flow out through the air registers in each room of your home.
6 Warning Signs You Have Leaking Ducts
As we mentioned in the introduction here, whenever there is any type of problem with the HVAC system, it is common to just blame the furnace or air conditioner.
But the full HVAC system includes many more components than just those two.
Your HVAC system consists of your furnace and A/C, ducts, exhaust vents and return/supply air registers.
Any of these components can potentially cause issues with your energy costs and heating or cooling efficiency.
Here are some of the main warning signs you may have a problem with your ductwork.
1. Uneven airflow
Uneven airflow is one of the most common ways that your ducts communicate with you about developing air leaks.
When you walk into one room and the airflow from the register is strong, but in an adjacent room the airflow is weak or absent, this can signal a leaking or detached duct that needs repair.
2. Strange odour
Despite the known toxicity of many commercial “air fresheners” and deodorizers, the companies that produce them continue to do a robust business.
Why? Because often our homes stink! Even more often, we can’t find the root cause of the smell and so we just do our best to mask it with scents or deodorizers that add more chemicals to our indoor air.
In many cases, the reason it’s so hard to pinpoint the cause of the smell is that it is coming from your ducts. Mildew, mould, unwelcome visitors, rotting insulation and detached ducts can all distribute strange odours throughout your home space.
3. Odd noises
Even when you start hearing strange sounds coming from the general direction of your HVAC system, it can be tempting to just dismiss them as “normal.”
In most cases, however, those noises are not normal at all.
Ducts make noises for a few reasons, the most common being that they are leaking or blocked. If you hear something that sounds like escaping air, it probably is!
Whenever you start seeing signs of unwelcome visitors such as bugs or even small animals, it is time to look at what is letting them in, which might be your ducts.
5. Chronically poor health
Respiratory symptoms, in particular, can often be traced back to dust, debris, mildew, mould, bacteria and toxins trapped in your ductwork.
6. Increased energy costs
Earlier we mentioned that leaking ducts may let out as much as 30 percent of your temperature-controlled indoor air before you ever get to use it.
That is a lot of air you are paying for that you don’t get to enjoy.
The average Ontario homeowner reports spending around $2,358 in energy costs annually, and 64 percent ($1,509) of that goes to heating and cooling.
A 30 percent duct leak costs you $453 per year.
Want Lower Energy Bills, Better Health and That “New Home” Smell?
A professional indoor air duct cleaning is just what the duct doctor ordered.
Clean out years of trapped debris in less than half a day. Scour and sanitize the interior of your ducts to neutralize odours, eradicate mildew and bacteria and send encamped insects packing. Plus, we check for any leaks and wear and tear that might need repair.
Right now and through the end of February, save 10 percent on any of our popular duct cleaning packages!
Get in Touch
Contact us online or give us a call at 905-549-4616.