Ductwork is as important as the HVAC unit in a home. It’s part of the system, and if it’s dirty, leaky or odorous, the entire system will be ineffective. Ductwork is often overlooked as a source of energy loss, but in truth, it can be the culprit of the poor performance of an HVAC unit. When your HVAC technician comes to do your check-up, note his approach to your system. Does he simply review the items on his “hit list” and call it a day? Does he examine just the big square unit itself, or does he explore the rest of the system, including the ductwork? If you require a new unit, a high-quality HVAC professional won’t simply install one. A top-notch technician will check out the ductwork and make sure it’s clean and tightly sealed. A new HVAC unit, no matter how energy-efficient or expensive, won’t perform to capacity if the air is running through faulty or leaky ductwork. If your home is older, this is especially important, because the duct work often leaks in homes over 30 years old. A smart HVAC technician will offer to test the ductwork when he or she is on a call for a new HVAC system or for HVAC maintenance.
Confirming that your ductwork is in good shape can mean improving indoor air quality and increasing the overall comfort of your home. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that as much as 40 percent of air leaks out of the system before it ever reaches the vent. This is not only inefficient, it’s wasteful. It can lower indoor air quality and allow pathogens to penetrate the air system. According to industry research, 96 percent of homeowners are willing to purchase products that improve indoor air quality.
Any specific ductwork changes should be done by a trained technician who has the installation expertise. The combination of new ductwork coupled with a new or serviced unit can make your home cozy this winter.