If you are having problems keeping your house cool in the summer and warm in the winter, your home might have problems with the duct work. Duct work is used to distribute conditioned air in homes that have forced air furnaces and central air conditioners. When a duct work system has problems, it can cause a decrease in the amount of airflow a house needs in the summer and winter.
How Airflow Problems Are Diagnosed
An HVAC contractor can test your home to see if the airflow is normal or not, and this is normally completed with a blower test. To complete the test, the technician will turn on the system and will measure the amount of air coming from the registers. This is often completed with a tool called an inclined manometer, but there are other instruments that are also used for this.
The airflow is labeled in terms of cubic feet of air per minute (cfm), and this measurement can reveal problems with the duct work in your home. If the cfm is below normal, the HVAC company will have to further evaluate the situation to find out what is causing a lack of airflow. In most cases, a decreased level of airflow is caused by problems with the duct work.
Problems With Duct Work and Solutions To Fix The Issues
There are two main types of duct work problems your house may have. The HVAC company may find just one of these, or they may find a combination of both of them.
If the company that designed and installed the system did not do it properly, it could be causing problems with airflow. A general rule of thumb with duct work is that it should be installed in the shortest ways possible. In other words, the system should be designed to minimize the amount of ducts in the house. If this is not the case, the air will have to travel a lot further than necessary, which causes a decrease in the efficiency of a system. This can also cause a larger loss of conditioned air.
Poorly-designed systems may also have a shortage of return air vents, and this too can cause problems. The return vents supply air to the system and are essential in an efficient furnace an central AC system.
To fix this problem, the HVAC company will have to modify the existing duct work, and this can often be a hard job to complete because of the location of many of the air ducts. They may have to re-run the ducts, and they may also have to install additional return air vents.
Leaks, Cracks, or Breaks In Ducts
Air ducts are installed in sections and are attached together with clips. Insulation is then placed around the ducts and all cracks are sealed. When a duct work system has any leaks or breaks in it, the system will lose air. This will directly affect the airflow of the system, causing the system to have to run harder to keep up.
To fix this problem, the company must locate all areas that are leaking. They must then seal them and insulate them to prevent them from leaking air. This is not hard to do in attics and basements, but it can be quite difficult with ducts found in the walls. The company may fix only the ducts they can get to easily, and they may leave the other ones alone.
If your home is not heating or cooling as quickly or as efficiently as it should, contact an HVAC company. They can run tests to find out what the problem is, and they will also be able to fix the problems for you.
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