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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

If your furnace seems to be operating efficiently, but you're still cold, your heating system might not be the problem. A typical duct system can lose 25 to 40 percent of the heat energy produced by a furnace, according to the Department of Energy. Obviously then, aging ductworkcan have a significant effect on your heating efficiency and your home comfort.

Old and Damaged Ductwork

As ductwork ages, it doesn't tend to deteriorate uniformly. Section joints can become loose here and there; a rip or tear can develop in one spot. Sometimes a whole section can become disconnected or crushed. This means that you might be perfectly warm in areas where the duct system isn't affected and terribly cold in rooms supplied by damaged ductwork. But your furnace is still trying to pump warm air into these badly heated rooms, and that means its working too hard and costing you too much money.

Your HVAC system may have been correctly sized for your home's heating needs, but if the ductwork is aging and damaged, your system is overburdened. You'll see this not only in higher energy bills, but also in higher repair bills. You see, a system that has to work too hard is more prone to breakdowns. Eventually, the life span of your furnace could be significantly affected.

Do You Need Your Duckwork Repaired?

If you suspect that your duct system isn't up to snuff, take a look at the sections in your basement or attic that you can easily access. Look for loose joints and damaged sections. Then call your heating contractor for an expert evaluation. He will examine your ductwork for the following key issues:

  • Is the duct system engineered to properly distribute the conditioned air?
  • Does the ductwork have restrictions or design flaws that interfere with proper airflow?
  • Does the ductwork pass through unconditioned spaces, like the attic or crawl space? 
  • Does the ductwork leak a significant amount of air?

Aging ductwork is likely to have at least two or three of these heating efficiency issues. Some can be resolved easily, and some may require professional assistance. The best course of action is scheduling an evaluation. Your inspector might find that in addition to repairs, your duct system needs a cleaning. To get started, contact one of the HVAC professionals at We serve Chicagoland homeowners.

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