How the Ductwork Affects Your Air Conditioning Efficiency
In a state where temperatures in the triple digits are not uncommon, it’s no surprise that more than 80 percent of Texas households rely on central air conditioning systems for year-round comfort. Thanks to an ingeniously designed network of air ducts, central AC systems deliver the kind of whole-home cooling you need for relief from the heat in your Austin, Texas, home. Ductwork plays a critical role when it comes to keeping you comfortable, and it can have a significant impact on the system’s overall performance and efficiency too.
Air velocity is one of the key factors that determines air conditioning efficiency. With any central AC system, the goal is to distribute conditioned air at a speed that maximizes cooling while minimizing energy expenditure. To achieve that ideal, the air pressure of the return and supply ducts must be carefully balanced. Even a small change in pressure in one channel can lead to undesirable consequences, ranging from lackluster air delivery and backdrafting to soaring energy costs. Repairs that can correct problems with airflow include:
- Adjusting the blower to the correct airflow setting so that air pressure remains in the optimal range.
- Sealing any leaks, cracks, gaps, or loose connections in the ducts to avoid air loss.
- Modifying the duct system if necessary to establish and maintain the proper air pressure.
- Sustaining the proper airflow settings through a regularly scheduled AC maintenance program.
Leaky ducts are a widespread problem that affects many central AC systems. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that up to 30 percent of the air that passes through ducts in the average American home is lost to leaks. In addition to wreaking havoc with air velocity and pressure, leaks affect air conditioning efficiency by forcing your system to run more frequently and for longer cycles. This can result in otherwise unnecessary repairs, and can even lead to a premature replacement of the entire system.
Unfortunately, improper leak repair can upset the ductwork’s pressure balance and have a negative effect on AC efficiency as well. With any type of duct sealing, it’s important to have your HVAC technician perform a pressure test after the work is completed to verify that the ducts are properly balanced.
Do You Need a Duct Inspection?
The opportunity to save money by increasing air conditioning efficiency is just one of the reasons that people chose to have their ducts inspected by a qualified professional. The pollutants and allergens that leaky ducts draw into your home make duct inspections imperative for those with chronic respiratory conditions or anyone concerned about indoor air quality.
Because moisture can infiltrate through leaks in ducts, it’s a good idea to have them inspected for mold growth as well. Damp ducts also provide the perfect breeding environment for invasive pests like rodents and insects. Additional signs that indicate you’ll benefit from a professional duct inspection include:
- Rooms that stay warm even when the air conditioner is running
- Rising utility bills which are particularly noticeable the more you rely on air conditioning
- Foul or musty odors generating from air vents
- An unusual buildup of dust on furnishings
- Rooms that feel stuffy, clammy or damp
Your Qualified Duct Service Specialist
You don’t have to worry about ductwork problems with the right HVAC technicians on your side. You can trust that with Woods Comfort Systems’ six decades of experience serving our valued residential and commercial clients in San Marcos and the surrounding communities, we are the company of choice for quality duct inspections, repairs, and replacements. Discover for yourself why so many of your neighbors rave about our energy-savings products and personable customer service. For more information about the hidden maze of ducts that winds through your home, explore our duct services or give us a call today at 512-842-5066.
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