Does it feel like your home isn’t cool or warm enough even though your HVAC system has been running for over an hour? Have you noticed that you and your loved ones cough, sneeze, and sniffle more often at home? Or perhaps your cooling or heating bills have increased significantly over the past months.

All those indicate you have bad ductwork installation. You should have your air ducts inspected and fixed immediately; otherwise, those symptoms can worsen. Faulty ducts can also chip away at your system’s lifespan, causing it to fail early.

This guide discusses the signs of faulty and poorly installed air ducts and their consequences. So keep reading, as we’ll also share tips on what you can do. 

Insufficient Heating or Cooling

Improper installation can result in undersized, kinked, or loosely connected ducts. These problems can restrict airflow into and out of your HVAC system. As a result, your heating or cooling equipment won’t be able to produce and circulate enough warm or cold air.

However, this issue can also be due to blocked or closed air vents and clogged filters.

So, before calling the experts, ensure your air vents are clean and open. Also, move furniture blocking their way so there’s about six to 12 inches of space between them.

Like bad ducts, filthy filters are also behind other HVAC problems in York County, PA, such as poor system efficiency and performance. So, check air filters and change them once they’ve developed a thin layer of gray, ash-like residue.

If those DIY methods don’t help, your air ducts are likely to blame. In this case, your next best bet is to look for a reputable HVAC contractor for ductwork repair. 

Sniffles and Sneezes Abound

Unfiltered air and air pollutants can enter the damaged areas where ducts leak. This contributes to poor indoor air quality (IAQ), as the contaminated air mixes with conditioned air. Your HVAC system can then circulate that not-so-clean air throughout your home.

Poor IAQ can cause symptoms soon after exposure. These include eye, nose, and throat irritation, dizziness, fatigue, and headaches.

So, if you or your loved ones seem to be getting sick more often, you may have poor IAQ, which duct leaks may contribute to. 

Air Filters Clog Up Quickly

Standard air filters can last one to three months, depending on your HVAC usage. The longer you run your heater and AC, the faster your filters accumulate debris. The same applies if you have pets at home or use gas- or wood-burning appliances.

If your filters take much shorter than that to become clogged with dirt and debris, you may have leaky air ducts. You may also notice that your home gets dustier faster and more than usual. 

Phantom-Like Sounds From the Ducts

Do you hear loud banging, rattling, wheezing, or whooshing from your HVAC system? Maybe you even hear gnawing, scratching, scurrying, or squeaking! These are signs of ductwork problems, including air leaks and pest infestations.

As mentioned above, duct leaks can result in air filters clogging up faster than usual. Clogged filters drastically reduce airflow, forcing the HVAC to work harder as it sucks more air in. This can cause the filter to move and then “bang” or “rattle” back into place.

The wheezing or whooshing from your HVAC can be the sound of air leaking in or out of your ducts.

As for the other noises, these indicate mice or rats living in your ductwork. You don’t want to share your home with these critters, as they bring diseases to humans and pets.

Such pests can also cause more damage to your ducts by using their insulation materials to make nests. Unfortunately, damaged insulation can result in even more energy losses and waste. The cables and wires they’ve chewed up can also trigger electrical fires.

The best way to determine what’s behind the noise in your ducts is to have an HVAC expert inspect them. If there’s no pest involved, you may only need ductwork cleaning and sanitizing, plus repairs. But if the pro finds signs of an infestation, they’ll recommend pest control services, too. 

More Frequent System Breakdowns

The more unnecessary work your HVAC system deals with, the more wear and tear it sustains. All these add up over time, making your equipment break down sooner rather than later. It may also experience multiple problems that pop up frequently.

An example is when an HVAC system overheats because it has to keep working harder. Overheating can cause some parts to crack and damage the system’s motor.

Such problems can happen at the same time or one after the other. Either way, they can force you to shell out a hefty sum for pricey repairs. This expense is on top of the higher energy bills an inefficient HVAC contributes to. 

Higher Energy Bills

When air ducts leak, they force your heater or AC to work harder and waste energy.

For instance, your system could work 50% harder if your ducts leak 20% of conditioned air. So, if there’s a 40% leakage, your system must work twice as hard.

All that extra work consumes more energy, resulting in increased utility bills. Indeed, the U.S. Department of Energy says leaky ducts raise heating and cooling bills by hundreds of dollars yearly!

One way to check your ductwork for air leakage is to inspect its accessible, visible sections. If you see disconnected joints or feel air coming out from what seems to be random spots, those are signs of leaks. Have your leaky ducts fixed by a licensed HVAC service professional in York County. 

Correct That Bad Ductwork Installation ASAP

Regardless of how energy-efficient your HVAC is, bad ductwork installation can negate its benefits. It can also shorten your system’s lifespan and lead to poor IAQ and comfort.

So, if you experience the symptoms above, take that as a sign you need air duct cleaning and repairs or replacement.

At Williams Service Company, all our technicians are highly trained and EPA-certified. You can rely on us 24/7 to help with your HVAC woes.

So, call us today. We’ll happily get the ductwork in your York County, PA, home back in tip-top shape!