Signs It’s Time to Get Your Ductwork Replaced

When you have a central heating and cooling system, it’s important to pay attention to the health and performance of your ductwork. But if you’re like most homeowners, your ducts rarely cross your mind until they develop noticeable problems.

If you’ve observed any of the following signs that indicate damage to your ducts, it’s probably time to start thinking about having your ductwork replaced.

1. Unusually High Heating & Cooling Bills

Have your energy bills been rising with no apparent explanation? Sometimes, mysterious jumps in heating and cooling expenses are the result of small ductwork leaks, which tend to grow larger over time. It’s normal for a little bit of air to escape your ducts even when they’re in excellent condition. But if more than 20% of the air that flows through the ductwork isn’t passing through the vents, you’ll see the loss reflected in your monthly energy bills.

Of course, an increase in your electricity bill may not be tied to your HVAC system. Even if it is, it could be due to other issues, such as clogged ducts or an outdated system. You’ll want to find other signs before you can be confident that your air ducts need replacing.

2. Central Air Runs Far Too Frequently

If your HVAC system always seems to be running, there’s a good chance that leaks in the ductwork are allowing conditioned air to escape the system. When a considerable amount of air escapes, your air conditioner or furnace must work overtime to maintain a constant temperature inside your home.

If your house is due for ductwork replacement, you’ll likely notice your central air runs more frequently than usual even though your thermostat setting remains constant. Again, though, this could be an issue with the equipment itself and not the ducts. By this point, you should definitely be considering getting the whole system inspected by an HVAC technician.

3. Noisy Central Air Operation

All HVAC systems produce some degree of noise while they operate, but when that noise becomes excessive, it may indicate the need for ductwork replacement. If you only notice an unusual amount of noise when you’re near your air conditioning unit or furnace, the issue likely lies in the machinery. But if you can hear a racket no matter where you are in your home, you probably have a ductwork problem.

You might notice rattling sounds as air passes through the ducts, which may indicate that sections of the ductwork are improperly attached. You might also hear hissing or whistling sounds, which typically indicate the presence of leaks or damage to the ductwork’s joints.

Regardless of the type or location of the noise you hear, don’t ignore it. Schedule an inspection with a qualified HVAC professional who can locate the source of the noise and diagnose the issue.

4. Excessive Dust in Your Home

Everyone deals with a little bit of dust in their home, and it’s almost impossible to eliminate it entirely. But if you feel like you’re constantly dusting and all that work is barely making a difference, damaged ductwork may be to blame.

If your ducts contain cracks and holes or if the joints are improperly attached, dust from inside your ceiling and walls can enter the ductwork. When your air conditioning or heating turns on, the forced air inside the ductwork will stir up that dust and push it into your living areas.

Although your HVAC filters do help control the amount of dust that enters your home, they can only do so much. If there’s excessive dust in the ductwork, it’ll end up traveling into your living areas until you address the problem. Excess dust can also be a sign that your air ducts need to be cleaned, but either way, it’s time for a ductwork inspection.

5. Uneven Air Distribution Throughout Your House

Have you noticed that some of the rooms in your home feel warm while others feel cool? Measure the temperature in each room with an indoor thermometer, and if there’s a difference of more than a degree or two, leaks in your ductwork may be to blame.

To figure out what’s causing the problem, you’ll need to get a ductwork inspection from a qualified HVAC service professional. If leaks are present or your ducts have other issues that interfere with proper air distribution, replacing the ductwork is typically the best course of action for long-term HVAC performance.

6. Mold and Mildew Growth

Do certain areas of your home smell musty or wet? Do you notice that the smell is more pronounced when your HVAC system turns on? That odor may indicate the presence of mold or mildew growth inside your ductwork, which can be hazardous for your health.

When there are cracks or holes in your ducts or the joints are improperly secured, warm air will enter the ductwork and allow condensation to form. Since mold and mildew thrive in warm, moist environments, leaky ducts provide a perfect environment for the spores to take off.

If you’re worried mold is the culprit behind the weird odor you smell, schedule an HVAC inspection to find out what’s going on. If there is mold, a professional duct cleaning can eliminate it, but you’ll also need to deal with any ductwork leaks that are allowing it to grow.

After the inspection, your HVAC professional will let you know whether sealing the leaks or a complete ductwork replacement is the best course of action for your particular circumstances.

7. You Own an Older Home

Last but certainly not least, if you own an older home and the ductwork has never been replaced, there’s a good chance you need new ducts. On average, residential ductwork has a functional lifespan of about 10 to 15 years. After the 15-year mark, it begins to deteriorate.

To maintain optimal HVAC efficiency and indoor air quality, it’s in your best interest to get your ductwork replaced if you know it hasn’t been touched in more than 15 years.

No matter what kind of HVAC issues you’re dealing with, our team at Metro Express Service in Carrollton is here to help. We specialize in air-conditioning, heating, ductwork, indoor air quality, and much more and have proudly served homeowners throughout the Dallas area since 1987. To learn more about our services or schedule an appointment, give us a call today at (972) 263-2500 or contact us online.