Turning a blind eye to an air duct leak can cost you big bucks in the form of higher heating and cooling expenses. Air ducts are conduits that carry the conditioned air from your furnace and AC system to your home’s living spaces. If punctured, torn, or otherwise breached, some of the conditioned air will leak out of the air ducts. Here are six of the most common causes of air duct leaks.
#1) Installation Errors
When installed incorrectly, air ducts may leak. There are flexible air ducts, rigid air ducts, and semi-rigid air ducts. Regardless, of the type, they must be installed so that the joints are sealed and able to withstand the ductwork pressure.
#2) High Humidity
What’s the humidity level in your home? High humidity is a common cause of air duct leaks. As the air ducts soak up some of this excess airborne moisture, they may succumb to decay or corrosion.
Older air ducts are more likely to leak than their newer counterparts. Flexible air ducts are particularly susceptible to age-related deterioration. Most of them will last for about 10 to 20 years. If your air ducts have reached their 10th birthday, you should consider replacing them or at least getting them professionally inspected.
#4) Wrong Air Filter
Using the wrong air filter in your HVAC system can cause an air duct leak. A higher minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) rating isn’t necessarily better than a lower MERV rating. Air filters with a high MERV rating will remove smaller contaminants than air filters with a low MERV rating, but they’ll suffer from restricted airflow. This can increase static pressure in the air ducts. You should choose an air filter with a balanced MERV rating that’s able to remove contaminants without creating excess static pressure.
Pest infestations can damage air ducts and cause them to leak. From rats and mice to squirrels, raccoons, and possums, many common household pests can chew through air ducts, resulting in leaks. Some pests may even build nests out of the air ducts or the surrounding insulation.
#6) Running the Blower 24/7
Allowing your HVAC system’s blower to run all the time may increase the risk of an air duct leak. The blower pushes air into the air ducts while subsequently creating pressure in the air ducts. If there are any weak joints in the air ducts, they may begin to leak under this pressure.
If you are experiencing a problem with your air conditioning or heating call us at 512-336-1431 to schedule an appointment. We’ll be glad to come out and take a look at the issue.
1431-183 A/C & Heating proudly serves Round Rock, Georgetown, Cedar Park, Pflugerville, Leander, Liberty Hill, and North Austin.
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