So, you got a new central air conditioner a couple of years ago, but for some reason you don’t think you’re getting your money’s worth. There are hot and cold spots making the home feel uncomfortable. Your monthly bills haven’t gone down even though the new unit is much more efficient. The company that installed the A/C insists it is working the way it’s supposed to.
It’s possible, maybe even likely, you have problems with the ductwork in your Redlands home. Our technicians at Sanborn’s Air Conditioning & Heating find the ducts are often the most ignored element of central heating and cooling systems. Here are some common issues with ductwork that can contribute to all of the above problems.
When we do leak tests on ductwork in Loma Linda, Yucaipa, and points in between, we find the average is about 25%. In other words, one fourth of the conditioned air is not being delivered to the rooms in your house. And that’s the AVERAGE.
Too much ductwork is not properly insulated. It’s a huge problem, especially in Southern California. Most of our ductwork is in the attic of the home where the air temperature can easily rise to 130 degrees.
- Heat gain
Poor insulation quickly leads to heat gain. Heat always moves from warm to cold, so every square inch of that poorly insulated attic ductwork is absorbing heat.
- Poor installation
Ductwork installation is both an art and a science. The art comes in the design step, choosing the correct route if you will, to reach each area of the house. A good design means the ducts don’t have any kinks or restrictions caused by sharp angles and restricted spaces. A bad design means reduced airflow.
- Improper sizing
This is the science part of the equation. It takes a knowledgeable designer and complicated mathematical formulas to determine which size ducts are the right size for a particular house. Some builders and contractors are using outdated formulas and end up installing the wrong size ducts. This can be the leading cause of those hot and cold spots we mentioned earlier.
- Dirty ducts
The inside of HVAC ductwork is not a pretty place, especially if it has been ignored for too long. We’re talking dirt, dust, and rodent droppings, all of which can cause poor indoor air quality. But for the purposes of this conversation, dirty ductwork also reduces airflow efficiency. Sanborn’s recommends regular duct cleaning by our technicians.
Sanborn’s Air Conditioning & Heating hopes this gives you some idea of how important your ductwork is. In many respects, it’s similar to the veins and arteries in your body. It doesn’t matter how healthy your heart is, circulation problems will make it work harder. Just like that new air conditioner you installed a couple years ago has to work harder to overcome problems in your ductwork.