Have you been struggling to get the most from your HVAC system? If you’re worried your system isn’t performing as well as it could be, your ductwork may be to blame. Poor installation is a huge culprit behind this, or sometimes we hear of homeowners attempting DIY repairs, which then led to more problems.
Whatever the problem, proper ductwork design and installation is imperative to keeping things running efficiently.
How Poor Ductwork Designs Hinders HVAC Performance
So, how exactly does poorly designed ductwork affect your HVAC system?
- Poor Air Quality: If your ductwork isn’t set up to pour as much air back into your home that it’s taking in, your home will draw in unfiltered air from elsewhere, which will have an impact on indoor air quality. Some set-ups are more prone to develop leaks or buildup, too, in which case dirt (and sometimes mold) will cycle through your vents and into the air you and your family are breathing.
- Lowered Efficiency: If your ductwork contains long runs, tight corners, isn’t sized correctly, or is facing any number of other common problems, it simply won’t be able to perform as well. This leaves you constantly adjusting your thermostat trying to get things comfortable, all while never getting quite the results you’re hoping for.
- Higher Monthly Bills: The worse your set-up is, the harder your system will have to work. This means higher energy bills for you, which can end up tacking a lot onto your budget overtime!
- Shorter Appliance Lifespan: A harder working system will also face more wear and tear, which leads to premature breakdowns and damages. You’ll likely have to invest in a lot more repair work over the lifespan of the system, and there’s a good chance you’ll need to replace the unit sooner than expected, too.
- High Humidity & Mold Growth: Sometimes the way a ductwork system is set up can cause humidity to increase, which leads to condensation in the vents. Combine this dampness with a dark, cool space, and you’ve got the ideal environment for mold to grow. Which then leads to poor air quality and health issues (especially for infants, the elderly, and those already dealing with respiratory issues).
- Lingering Smells: When outside air is being pulled in, mold growth is occurring, and leaks are welcoming in musty odors, it won’t be long until you notice poor smells circulating throughout your household. There’s also a chance your vents are more prone to pest infestation, which also invites unpleasant odors.
- Hot/Cold Spots: When HVAC systems and ductwork aren’t designed right from the get-go, it’s likely some rooms will get more airflow than they need, while others get less, which is why one bedroom is way too warm while another is freezing cold. In the end, no matter where the thermostat lies, no one’s happy.
- Drafty Areas: Poor seals and leaks increase the likelihood of experiencing drafty areas, which impacts the temperatures throughout your home. This leaves you adjusting the thermostat and struggling to feel comfortable.
Common Ductwork Mistakes
So, what are the more common mistakes contractors (and sometimes ambitious DIYers) tend to make when installing ductwork?
- The runs are too long. A lot of times runs are longer than they need to be, which means your unit has to work much harder to get to all areas of your home.
- There are too many sharp corners. Sharp corners cause reduced airflow and more disruptions. Gradual, curved bends, on the other hand, ensure smoother airflow and better performance.
- They aren’t sealed properly. Ductwork should always be properly sealed, and if it isn’t, you’ll experience inefficiency, bad air flow, poor indoor air quality, and potential odors.
- Not enough returns. If you don’t have enough returns, air flow will be affected, and unclean make-up air will need to come in from somewhere else. Essentially, your air quality will suffer, and you won’t get the performance you’re hoping for from your appliance.
- Wrong sizing. The wrong sized ducts for your specific set up leads to an imbalance in air pressure, and puts strain on your system as a whole. You’ll also have a hard time getting that perfect temperature you’re seeking.
- No insulation. If your ductwork is insulated, you’ll notice that regulating temperatures will be a lot easier, and you’ll be able to minimize energy loss significantly
So… Duct Tape Won’t Work?
Long story short… if you’re having ductwork-related issues (or if your HVAC system isn’t performing well, and you want to get to the bottom of it), call in a professional, and don’t attempt repairs or rerouting yourself.
And no – despite the name, duct tape is not an adequate tool for fixing damaged ductwork!
Give our experts a call or reach out online today for the quality, long-lasting results you deserve. We’re here to give Nashville residents the best care possible!