5 HVAC Problems Caused by Air Ducts

Your HVAC system is very complex, because of this, there are a lot of components that could be the root of your HVAC problems. In this article, we will be discussing some common HVAC problems that could be caused by your air ducts.

Strange Odors Coming from Your HVAC System 

The first of the HVAC problems that could possibly be related to your air ducts is unpleasant odors. Some may suspect the central AC unit as the source of the odor, but your air ducts could be the culprit. Sometimes moisture can build up in the ducts, allowing the growth of mold or mildew.

It is also possible for insects or rodents to leave fecal deposits in your air ducts, which can cause unpleasant odors as well.

No one wants their home to smell bad, a simple HVAC inspection could help pinpoint and resolve the problem.

Hot & Cold Spots

Sometimes you may notice when moving from room to room, the level of comfort or temperature may change dramatically.

If you walk from one room that is comfortably cool into a room that seems hot and stuffy, the ducts leading to the stuffy room may have a leak.

A leak in your air ducts could mean that the cool air being circulated by the HVAC system is escaping the ductwork into attic or wall space, which results in certain areas of your home not receiving the cool airflow!

Poor Airflow

Similarly, to noticing hot and cold spots in your home, poor airflow can also be an HVAC problem caused by air duct issues.

Clogs or leaks in your air ducts can cause many problems with airflow in your home.

To identify the location of the problem, you should check your air vents to see any variation in airflow from vent to another. If there seems to be a reduction in airflow in all vents, you may have a leak or clog in one of your main air ducts.

If the problem is isolated to one area, you may be able to more accurately pinpoint the location of the issue.

Clogged Filters

HVAC problems can manifest in many ways.

One of the most common HVAC problems is air filter clogs.  Hopefully, you change your air filters monthly, or at a minimum quarterly. If you do change your air filters regularly and they still seem to become abnormally clogged, your air ducts may be to blame. If your air ducts contain debris or excessive pollutants, they may be clogging your air filters at an alarming rate.

While this does mean that your air filters are functioning properly, leaving your air ducts in this condition could cause extensive damage to your HVAC system.

Strange Sounds

One of the most frequent complaints about HVAC systems is noisiness.

While there are many possible causes of unusual sounds coming from your HVAC system, your air ducts may be the cause.

Damage to your air ducts can cause a whistling sound in your HVAC system. Ductwork damage is not uncommon as your system ages.

Another unusual noise that can be caused by your air ducts may come from rectangular sheet ducts making a popping sound when there is a change in air pressure. Air duct issues commonly cause these bothersome sounds in your system.

How to Prevent & Resolve Air duct-Related HVAC Problems?

Have your air ducts inspected:  Having a professional air duct cleaner/HVAC technician inspect your ducts from time to time is important.

A professional technician can let you know what condition your ducts are in as well as offer proper solutions and servicing for optimal HVAC performance.

Repair any leaks in your ducts: Repairing ductwork leaks on your own can be challenging, a trained HVAC professional can easily help you identify leaks in your air ducts and properly repair them. Calling a professional any time you have HVAC problems will help increase the efficiency and longevity of your system.

Check ductwork design and sizing:  If your HVAC problems stem from a poorly designed duct system, you may need to have your ductwork replaced.

Air ducts that are improperly sized will cause your HVAC unit to overwork when trying to cool your home.

The length of ducts and sharpness of turns may also decrease the efficiency of your system.

Your trusted HVAC technician can evaluate all of these things for you and make recommendations to increase efficiency.

Consider the balance of supply and return vents.

For a well-performing HVAC system, there needs to be an appropriate balance of air supply vents and air return vents.

You need enough air supply vents to allow proper airflow throughout your home, while your return vents need to draw in enough air for optimal conditioning. If you are lacking in either area of your ventilation system,  you will experience an imbalance in comfort and efficiency throughout your home.