How Your Ducts Affect Home Heating and Cooling

If you have a central heating and cooling system, you likely know that maintaining your furnace and air conditioner are an integral part of heating and cooling your Columbia home efficiently. However, these appliances are only a part of your home’s heating and cooling system, which also includes your ducts. Ductwork is responsible for transporting the air that is heated and cooled by your HVAC system to the rest of your home; thus, the condition of your ducts will affect factors such as home comfort and your monthly energy consumption.

Air Leaks

Ducts work like tunnels, transporting air from one location to another. Ideally, air enters the tunnel at the beginning of the duct immediately after it is heated or cooled, then exits the duct once it reaches the open air registers in your living areas. However, leaks in your ductwork can also provide openings through which air can escape, causing the loss of heated or cooled air along the journey from HVAC system to air register. Air leaks can occur anywhere in your ducts; leaks that occur inside your conditioned living spaces are less severe than those that cause air loss into unconditioned basements, crawlspaces, attics, or garages, as these leaks cost you in terms of heating and cooling energy that never reaches the areas where you need it most. Your HVAC service can help you evaluate the airtightness of your ductwork and address any leaks by sealing them to restore the ability of your ducts to transport all heated and cooled air into the spaces you occupy and maximize the benefits of the energy your HVAC system consumes.

Dirt and Dust Buildup

The conditions inside your ducts also play a part in the efficiency of your home’s heating and cooling system. Dirt and dust can build up inside your ducts over time, even if you use a high-quality air filter that is changed regularly. This buildup slowly restricts the space through which conditioned air can move, forcing your air handler to work harder to push the air through your ducts and into your living spaces. Furthermore, moving air can stir up any buildup inside the ducts, carrying small particles with the air and spreading them throughout your home, lowering the overall quality of your air and causing your home’s surfaces to accumulate dust more often, regardless of how frequently you clean. Duct cleaning is a simple process that removes this buildup from inside your ducts using suction; your HVAC service can complete a total duct cleaning in just a few hours to restore the interior of your ducts to like-new condition, improving airflow and reducing the risk of pest infestations and mold or mildew growth. Your home’s ducts should be checked every two to three years and cleaned as necessary to improve the performance of your HVAC system and keep your energy bills low.

If you’re concerned about the state of your ducts, our home heating and cooling experts in Columbia, SC, offer professional duct inspection and cleaning to improve the performance of your ducts and your HVAC system. You can find out more about home heating and cooling, indoor air quality, and our featured specials and products when you check us out on the web, or discover more helpful home HVAC tips on our monthly blog.

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