How To Tell Whether Your Central Air Conditioning System Has Defective Ductwork

15 July 2022
 Categories: , Blog

Central air conditioning systems circulate cool air through a system of supply and return ducts. The system pulls air from the house through intake vents and return ducts, cools the air, and recirculates it into the home through the supply ducts and vents. If you have faulty ductwork, the system will experience inefficiencies that may affect indoor comfort and increase cooling costs. Therefore, watch out for these signs of defective ductwork in your central air conditioning system.

Damaged Ductwork

A visual inspection of your ductwork can unearth faults and reveal the condition of the entire system. Check whether the exposed sections of the ducts are loose or detached from the rest of the system. Look for bent or broken ducts, especially around sharp corners. If you notice these issues, you need to get your ductwork checked and repaired. Bends in the ducts can restrict airflow, leading to inadequate cooling and overheating of the system. Physical damage to the ducts causes leaks, which can overwork the system and increase energy consumption.

Warm and Cold Spots in the Home

Properly installed ducts ensure every room and corner in the house receives conditioned air. Therefore, warm and cold spots in sections of the building indicate a problem with your ductwork. Look out for these potential issues:

  • Improper duct installation: If there aren't enough ducts to supply enough conditioned air in the home, some rooms will experience warm spots. 
  • Air leaks in the ductwork: Air leaks in the supply ducts lower the airflow in the affected rooms. Consequently, the rooms receive less conditioned air, leading to inadequate cooling.
  • Improper duct sizing: If the ductwork in a room is larger than necessary, it will supply more conditioned air, resulting in cold spots. Similarly, if the ducts are smaller than needed, they will provide inadequate cool air and cause warm spots in the affected rooms.

If you experience hot and cold spots in your home, you should conduct a comprehensive check of your duct system.

Unusual Noises and Odors

Ducts should not make noise or emit odors. If you notice rumbling sounds in the ductwork, check your system for air pressure issues. Also, listen out for rattling and squeaking sounds occurring due to loose or incorrectly sized ductwork. You may need to invest in new ducts that are properly sized for your home.

Stale or pungent smells inside the vents indicate mold and mildew growth in the ducts. The fungi thrive in AC ducts due to high humidity and warm temperatures. Clean the ducts to eliminate the fungi and use dehumidifiers to remove excess moisture in the air.

Faulty ductwork can lower your air conditioner's efficiency and affect indoor air quality. Contact an air conditioning service for ductwork inspection and repair.