Learn How Loose Air Ducts Affect Your HVAC System

Air ducts play an important role in your HVAC system’s operation. When something happens to your ducts, the consequences can be felt and sometimes heard throughout your home. As your HVAC system ages, duct connections can loosen and separate, allowing conditioned air to escape.

Loose ducts can happen for a variety of reasons, but adhesive failure brought on by old age or excess humidity is one of the most common causes. Accidental damage caused during repairs and remodeling, as well as damage caused by small rodents, can also lead to loose ductwork.

                The following takes a look at how loose ducts can impact your HVAC system and its ability to keep your home comfortable.

Reduced Comfort

Your heater or air conditioner might be up and running, but loose ducts can make your HVAC system feel as if it’s barely working. Loose ducts can cause conditioned air to go elsewhere, resulting in very weak airflow. In most cases, you’ll feel only a faint breeze as you place your hand against the supply air vent.

Without strong and steady airflow through your ducts, you’ll end up with one or more rooms that simply aren’t heated or cooled effectively. These hot or cold spots make it hard to stay comfortable in your home.

Increased Noise

You might not be able to see loose ductwork, but chances are it’ll make itself heard at some point. Loose ducts often create a variety of strange noises, especially as conditioned air travels through the duct system. Keep your ears open for the following noises:

  • Rattling sounds – Loose metal ducts can knock and rattle against each other, leading to tell-tale rattling noises.
  • Wheezing sounds – Gaps caused by disconnected ducts can lead to wheezing or low-pitched whistling as air rushes through.
  • Shakes and vibrations – Some shakes and vibrations are caused by normal metal expansion and contraction, but loose ducts can also cause those noises.
  • Other noises, like occasional popping and ticking noises, are perfectly normal. However, additional insulation and damping can help reduce or even stop these noises completely.

Poor Indoor Air Quality

A stuffy, uncomfortable home isn’t the only downside of living with loose ducts. Ductwork that’s properly sealed not only keeps conditioned air in but also keeps dust and debris out. Your HVAC air filter acts as a gatekeeper of sorts, preventing dust and debris from entering the HVAC system and the ductwork in the first place.

Loose ducts can siphon dust-laden air from attics, crawl spaces, and inner walls directly into the duct system, bypassing the air filter entirely. The end result is contaminated air that spreads to nearly every room in your home. Your home’s indoor air quality takes a hit, and those suffering from allergies and asthma can end up with itchy eyes, runny noses, and a host of other unwanted symptoms.

Higher Energy Bills

Loose air ducts not only make your home feel uncomfortable but also cost you more when it comes to your annual energy consumption. Loose ducts cause your HVAC system to work harder and longer to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. The more energy your HVAC system uses, the more you’ll pay in energy costs.

Loose ducts can cause as much as 30 percent of your HVAC system’s airflow to vanish into crawl spaces, walls, and other unconditioned spaces.

By Carolina Ductmasters

How Much Does A Dryer Vent Cleaning Cost?

BY AGENCY-IT

The clothes dryer is a modern convenience that is one of the most commonly owned household appliances. As with all appliances, proper maintenance and inspection are essential, both for the health of the machine and the safety of the owners. Even with correct and regular dryer use, dryer vents can become clogged over time. When this happens safety issues can arise, so it’s important to schedule a dryer vent cleaning. Owners researching dryer vent cleaning services typically ask how to tell if a vent needs cleaning and what is included in the dryer vent cleaning cost.

Dangers of a Clogged Dryer Vent

A clogged dryer vent presents several dangers and some are more subtle than others. The major danger associated with a dryer vent that needs to be unclogged is fire. Clogged vent systems that cannot properly allow air to escape to the outside might lead to a buildup of exhaust gas inside the laundry room, creating a fire hazard. Other dangers are also associated with clogged dryer vents.

  • Overheating. Dryer vent clogs can also lead to chronic overheating, damaging the machine in the process.
  • Electrical issues. In some cases, a frequently overheating dryer can cause short-circuiting and electrical issues that can affect the general electrical system of the home.
  • Increased energy bills. Although it is more subtle and might take longer to notice, a clogged dryer vent can cause financial damage through increased utility bills. When a dryer is not as efficient as it should be, it can be a drain on energy. The excess heat from a dryer can even lead to increased temperature in adjacent rooms, further driving up energy costs.

What Causes a Clogged Dryer Vent

A household clothes dryer is an appliance that is typically used on a regular basis. Even a perfectly performing dryer collects lint as it is expelled from clothing during the normal drying process. For this reason, all dryers are equipped with a lint trap to catch the excess lint and prevent clogging of the vent.

In order for this process to continue to function properly, owners should be diligent about cleaning out the lint trap. Cleaning the lint trap after every use is recommended. Unfortunately, some owners skip this step or do not perform it as frequently as necessary to keep the machine maintained. Over time the lint screen can no longer filter out the excess lint so the excess begins to make its way into the dryer vent ductwork, leading to the potential for dryer vent clogging. In rare cases, birds or other animals can build nests inside improperly protected vents on the exterior of the home, causing a blockage.

Signs To Look for When Needing a Dryer Vent Cleaning

If regular dryer vent cleaning of the lint trap is not a part of the daily maintenance routine, chances are the dryer vent has some amount of debris buildup. Even with proper usage, lint traps can become less efficient over time, so keeping an eye out for signs of dryer vent blockage can help save the owner time and money. The most noticeable signs involve the functioning of the machine itself such as:

  • Clothes remaining damp after a regular cycle has completed
  • Taking several cycles for clothes to dry completely
  • Odd smells on freshly-dried clothing, such as a musty odor or burnt smell
  • Dry clothes might feel hotter than usual, which could mean the dryer is using more energy

Dryers that are experiencing decreased efficiency can also put off so much extra heat that it makes the surrounding rooms warmer, leading to a utility bill increase.

When to Call in a Professional for Dryer Vent Cleaning Services

When symptoms of a dryer vent clog have become evident, when is it time to call a professional company to help? What is involved in cleaning, and how much does it cost? Some owners choose to have regular annual inspections and cleanings to prevent any symptoms from occurring. Not only does this mitigate most of the risks, but it also prevents an increase of utility bills, and those savings can add up. A simple cleaning is extremely affordable and involves the disconnection the hose from the dryer and a clearing out of the vent, as well as checking for signs of excessive wear or damage.