The Importance of Ductwork Maintenance
Arguably one of the most important parts of an HVAC system are its air ducts, but too many homeowners don’t regularly inspect or maintain those ducts. In order to understand why air duct maintenance is so important, we need to take a look at the four different components that go with duct work and how exactly each one affects your energy bills, the longevity of your system, and even your health. These four components of air duct systems are cleanliness, Thermal Efficiency, Static Pressure, and Leakage.
People often make the mistake of thinking that the only maintenance ducts need is sealing leaks. However, doing this only prevents leaks – it does not remove debris and dirt that could be harmful to people’s health. It is also believed that cleaning out old ducts is beneficial, but in reality, this is not always effective – and may even make air quality issues worse. Attempting to clean the duct improperly can agitate the dirt, causing it to get into the air, which may lead to health problems. If you’re looking for ducts for HVAC in Walnut Creek, you should know that new ones are hypo-allergenic and if they are properly installed, they will remain perfectly clean for the entire life of the system.
One of the most crucial factors that go into duct work is insulation thickness, or “R-value”. New ductwork can have a high efficiency rating of R8; in contrast, many old ducts only measure at R2. The newer ducts can be 100% more efficient than most old ducts, keeping more air moving where it needs to go instead of seeping out the sides of ducts into your basement or crawl space!
Static pressure is the measured amount of pressure that is inside your duct system. If the ducts are improperly installed or they are too small, excess pressure can occur. This amount of pressure relates to the loss or gain of energy, which directly affects the lifespan of the system. The majority of systems have levels of static pressure that are double what they should be. If the pressure is higher than recommended, the fan inside of the system cannot get the desired airflow where it needs to be, which will result in more energy trying to make up for the lost amount of air flow. This will decrease the life of your system drastically and increase your energy bills. Contact our experts in HVAC in Contra Costa to check the pressure in your system.
Usually when you seal your ducts, there is only one concern being recognized here: air leaks. Oftentimes, sealing with good old duct tape won’t completely seal leaks. The target leakage rate that goes with sealing ducts is 15% for older ducts and 6% for new ducts. There will always be some amount of leakage with any ductwork system, but anything above these percentages translates to lost energy for you.
It is important to know when it is time for your ducts to be replaced. Contacting a professional to service your ducts can alert you to maintenance needs that may have been ignored for too long, whether it be because of leakage, too much static pressure, or if the ducts are dirty and unhealthy. Your comfort and health are important, and making sure your ducts are operating at max efficiency without being a risk for your health is crucial.
Contact us today with any questions you might have regarding your ducts to see if they need to be serviced or replaced.