The air conditioner unit on its own is just one aspect of your home’s cooling system. However, the cooling does not solely depend upon it. A very often underrated and overlooked aspect of the air conditioner performance is the ductwork. Most homeowners take the ductwork for granted since they are never in plain sight. Out of sight, out of mind rule applies to it perfectly.
Impact Of Ductwork On AC Performance
Those of us who thought that the ductwork didn’t really matter in cooling the house, must carefully read hereon.
1. Temperature Control – The cool air passes through the ducts before entering the different rooms. If the ducts are damaged or have leaks, cool air escapes from it. As a result, a lesser amount of treated air finds its way into the room to make it comfortable. Your AC will now have to work longer to achieve the desired temperature setting. Even then, it may not be able to deliver to your satisfaction.
2. Impacts Air Quality – Damage to the ductwork and its improper design, both, can cause pressure imbalances. On its own, the pressure imbalance may not seems to be a thing of consequence. But what you are not aware of is the fact that this imbalance may attract allergens and other contaminants from those areas of the home that are unconditioned, for example, garage, basement, and attic. Where the air filters had removed the impurities from the indoor air, the pressure imbalance pushes more in. So, all in all, the indoor air quality degrades instead of improving. Good air quality is a pre-requisite to good health. When people spend a large amount of time indoors, it is essential to pay attention to the air quality inside.
3. Increase In Power Consumption – Flaws in the ductwork force the cooling unit to work harder. When the air conditioner cycles run longer, it consumes more power. The more the power consumption, the bigger is your energy bill. So, faulty ductwork will negatively impact the energy efficiency of your cooling system. At first, glance, when you see a hefty bill, the natural inclination is to assume that something is wrong with the AC. But when nothing pans out, it would be good to have the ductwork of your home inspected for any defects or shortcomings.
4. Shortens The AC Life – When you buy any costly equipment, you want it to work to its full potential and that too for as long as possible, which is usually the expected lifespan. However, the weaknesses in the ductwork may throw a wrench in your plans by shortening the lifespan of your HVAC. What the flaws in the ductwork do is put the cooling unit under tremendous strain by making it work longer and harder. As a result, the unit overheats and in turn that damages the various moving components. So, all in all, there is more than the usual wear and tear that leads to the untimely demise of the equipment.
What Makes An Effective Ductwork?
The ductwork that is designed properly will only assist your AC in improving the comfort level indoors. Here are a few essentials of an adequately designed ductwork:
1. Balanced Air Flow – The duct system installed in your home should have the correct number of supply ducts and return air ducts. This ensures that there is an equal distribution of air. The uniform distribution of air, in turn, ensures that there are no pressure imbalances in your home.
2. Proper Size Ducts – The size of the ducts does not depend on the whims and fancies of anyone. There is a precise science behind it, which insists that the size of the ducts should match the capacity of the cooling equipment or the HVAC installed in the home.
3. Routing Of The Ducts – Special attention should be paid to the routing of the ducts. As far as possible, it should pass only through the conditioned areas of the home. If it does pass through those areas that are not conditioned, the ducts should be insulated and sealed so that there are no leaks.
The cleanliness of the air ducts is important. However, they don’t need to be cleaned every year. Cleaning them once in 3 to 5 years is more than sufficient. Even then, remember, cleaning the ducts is specialty work. It isn’t a “Do It Yourself” activity and cannot be entrusted to anyone. Hire a reputable and certified contractor for this job.
Unfortunately, there are many people running duct cleaning scam. You need to beware of them. The most significant give of these scammers is that they usually quote a price that is way lower than the industry norm. So refrain from approaching those that quote the lowest figure. In the long run, paying a little more will guarantee the safety of your equipment as well as give the satisfaction of a job well done.
An air conditioner, though the most important part of your cooling system, is not the only thing that demands care and attention. The ductwork of your home is that dark horse, which is essential to winning the race. Next time when you experience any cooling problems, do get the ductwork also inspected. Not all issues are courtesy the AC some can be attributed to the ductwork as we stated above.
The residents of West Palm Beach, Florida, can contact Aztil Air Conditioning for inspection, care, and maintenance of their heating and cooling equipment. To book a consultation or schedule an appointment, call us at +1-888-729-8452. We are available 24/7 so that you don’t have to suffer unnecessarily. Our team of technicians is fully trained and well experienced in handling all situations and problems.