The weather over the last month here in Southern California has taken some strange shifts, with colder temperatures than normal and stretches of heavy rain. The rain is great news for dealing with our drought problem, but the downpours have also brought cold weather. We’d guess that you have put your heating system, whether an electric furnace, gas furnace, or heat pump, to good use this winter season. Maybe the most use you’ve gotten from the heater in years.
So this may be one of the first opportunities in a while for you to notice if something’s amiss with your home’s heating. For example, cold spots. As you move around your home when the heater is running, are you finding rooms that don’t feel as warm as they should be? There are many possibilities for this: poor insulation, air leaks around windows, a busted heating element in an electric furnace, a dirty coil in a heat pump. But there’s one specific culprit we want to focus on, because frequently it’s the guilty party: air leaks in the ductwork.
So how did your ducts “go bad” in the first place? It wasn’t peer pressure… it might just have been air pressure. If the air pressure in the ductwork spikes too high because of blocked vents (never block the vents!) it can cause bursting along the duct material leading to leaks.
The ducts might have been “born bad”; they were installed incorrectly in the first place. This is something that our technicians see all the time, unfortunately. A shoddy initially installation job means structural pressure, air pressure, and slow collapse that cause ducts to leak.
Your ducts may also suffer from a vermin infestation, or corrosion weakening the material, or a construction mistake during remodeling… Yes, there’s plenty of ways your ducts can go bad and leave rooms cold.
“How bad could a few leaks actually be?” you might ask. The answer is “pretty bad.” These leaks can lead to a loss of up to 30% of the air moving through the ducts. Think how that can affect a stretch of ducts leading to one of the rooms: 30% of the warmth is gone! No wonder the room feels cold. Plus, you’re still spending money to heat that air, despite losing it. The house may feel colder, but don’t imagine that somehow means you’re not paying as much to heat it! You’re probably paying more.
You can bring in the ventilation police to solve the problem of leaking ducts. Our HVAC experts offer duct sealing to make your ducts airtight once more. Don’t attempt to do a “citizen’s arrest” with this one: you don’t have the tools or training necessary to repair the ductwork. (No, duct tape isn’t an option. It actually doesn’t work on ducts. Everything else, sure. Just not ducts.)
Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning offers the highest quality HVAC services to the Inland Empire and the Desert Communities. Open 24 hours!