Your air ducts are an incredibly vital part of your air conditioning system. When they’re in proper working order, your air ducts keep your air conditioner working effectively and efficiently. However, if your air ducts are damaged or deteriorating, it could lead to functionality problems with the AC unit, difficulty cooling rooms, health issues for you and your family members, and more. There are several signs that indicate your air ducts are in need of repairs. Learning what these signs are and what they mean is an essential part of maintaining your cooling system.

Old Ducts

Air ducts don’t last forever. As they get older, the seals will start to deteriorate, the metal will corrode, holes, dents, and cracks will form, and the ducts may even start to sag or fall. No matter how well you maintain them, old air ducts will need to be replaced over time or else they’ll continue to experience more severe problems that require costly repairs. As a general rule, it’s best to get the ducts for your air conditioner replaced every 15 years.

High Levels of Dust

If you’ve noticed dust accumulating in your house more quickly than usual, especially around the vents, the culprit is likely your air ducts. While HVAC systems can’t eliminate all dust from your home, they help to clear up a lot of it by transporting it through the ducts and catching it in the air filter.

However, damaged air ducts may be letting in dust through opened seams, cracks, or holes. Dust negatively affects air quality and agitates the symptoms of asthma sufferers, people with allergies, and anyone with respiratory illnesses. High levels of dust in your house may indicate that your air ducts are in need of repairs. Even if there isn’t any significant damage, the air ducts likely need a thorough cleaning.

Frequently Changing the Air Filter

Higher levels of dust in your home may be slightly difficult to notice, especially if you regularly dust your house. However, another sign of increased dust levels within your ducts is the air filters within your HVAC system clogging more frequently.

Air filters within your air conditioner should be changed at least once every three months. You may need to change them more often if you have pets due to fur and pet dander building up in the filters.

No matter if you have pets or not, you should check the filters monthly to see if there are abnormal levels of dust and debris buildup. If you’ve recently noticed that your air filters need to be replaced more often than once every three months, it could be a sign that your air ducts are damaged or in need of a cleaning.

Increased Energy Bills

There are a wide variety of reasons why your energy bills are spiking, but one possibility many people overlook is damaged air ducts. When your air ducts are leaking, dirty, or obstructed, they restrict airflow. A lack of strong airflow through the air ducts causes your air conditioner to run longer and work harder to effectively cool down your house. A simple repair, replacement, or cleaning of your air ducts may save you a lot of money on your energy bills.

Strange Noises

Many people blame the air conditioning unit for odd noises heard while the system is active. However, the source of the sounds may be the air ducts.

Loud banging or popping noises are usually due to high levels of air pressure in the ducts or a sudden change in temperature as the condenser kicks on. Some less common sources of banging noises are the metal ducts being too thin, the wrong shape, or the wrong size for your residence.

Rattling noises are commonly indicative of loose screws, separating seams, debris stuck in the ducts, or leaks. It’s also possible that an entire section of the duct is coming loose.

Humming or vibrating noises are caused by loose parts and pressure issues. Buzzing and scratching noises are typically signs of rodent or insect infestations within the ducts. These infestations can usually only occur when the pests have means of infiltrating the ducts through cracks, holes, or gaps in the seams. Any suspicious sounds should be diagnosed and resolved by a professional air conditioner technician.

Low Airflow

A lack of airflow through your air conditioning system is a very common sign of damaged or worn air ducts. Damage, failing seals, and everyday wear and tear can cause leaks within the ducts, reducing airflow throughout the entire home. The ducts will need to be fully inspected and repaired by a professional to maximize airflow throughout the system.

If damage or deteriorating ducts aren’t the cause of the constricted airflow, then it could be a sign of dirty ducts or an obstruction within the ducts. In this situation, a professional will need to thoroughly clean the ducts and remove any obstructions.

Inconsistent Temperatures Between Rooms

One of the best benefits of a whole-house air conditioner is ensuring that your entire home is at a comfortable and consistent temperature throughout the summer. However, damaged or deteriorating air ducts can cause some rooms to feel warmer than others. If the damage or deterioration is causing a leak or if there’s an obstruction in a duct closer to one room, that room will feel warmer than the others due to the reduced airflow.

Inconsistent temperatures could also be a sign that your air ducts aren’t the proper size for your house or air conditioning system. They’ll need to be evaluated by a professional air conditioner technician and replaced with more suitable ducts if this is the case.

Moldy Smells

Mold buildup in air ducts is a serious matter. If there’s mold within the ducts of your air conditioning system, it will severely affect the air quality within your home and possibly cause harmful health effects for you and your family. Moldy smells are easy to detect within air ducts, but pinpointing the exact location of the mold within the ducts requires the assistance of a professional HVAC technician.

Cleaning the mold is not good enough to fully rectify this problem. Air ducts don’t have issues with mold unless moisture is seeping in somewhere. Water could be leaking in through a gap in the seams, a crack, or a hole, or condensation could be building up due to a lack of sufficient insulation. In addition to eliminating the mold from the ducts, the cause of the moisture buildup will also need to be repaired.

Air duct repair, replacement, and cleaning is a complicated matter best left to experienced professionals to ensure the job gets done safely and effectively. If you suspect the air ducts for your air conditioning system need repairs, you can rely on our skilled technicians at Titan Air Solutions to provide you with the best service. In addition to air duct repair, replacement, installation, and inspection, we also offer installation, maintenance, and repair services for air conditioners, heaters, UV air purifiers, air scrubbers, and much more. For more information on any of the services we provide to the areas in and around the Fort Worth, Texas area, contact us at Titan Air Solutions today.

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