September 20, 2020

The air conditioner or furnace cools or heats the air. The air finds its way into the home. Is that how things work? This is partially how HVAC systems work, though some steps are missing in the simplified explanation. Hot and cold air travel through ducts, and then the air ends up inside the home. The ducts sometimes come off as out of sight and out of mind. People don’t think of these somewhat hidden “corridors” often. Even when a problem arises, homeowners may cast blame on the HVAC system, not realizing the ducts could be the source of trouble. What could be wrong? Clogged ducts may prevent air from circulating as freely as it should.

The Air Filter May Be a Source of Trouble

Changing the air filter at the proper time decreases the chances of many problems. The air filter collects dirt, dust and other impurities. When the air filter “fills up,” it can’t work efficiently. Problems could ripple into other components of the HVAC system, including the ducts.

Clogged air filters could reduce the amount of airflow in the ducts. Such a reduction may lead to dirt and dust buildup inside the ducts. If the buildup becomes significant, the ducts may suffer clogs.

Look at the Vents

Problems could also arise with the vents. Visually inspecting them could reveal a problem that might be easy to address. Sometimes, homeowners move furniture and other bulky items in front of the vents. Time passes, and homeowners might forget about the vent. The problem, however, is something now blocks the vents. Airflow won’t occur smoothly when something outright blocks the vents.

And dirty vents are no bargain, either. Just as dust and debris may collect inside the ducts, such debris also accumulates on the vents. The buildup could become so significant that airflow ends up blocked. Cleaning the vents should become a top priority upon noticing a considerable amount of dirt.

Another point is worth mentioning here. Even if there’s no obstruction or dirt buildup on the vent, the airflow might be less than what it should be. If air is not coming out of the vents at the right level, there might be a blockage of some kind in the ducts. Maybe something found itself stuck right behind the vent. Removing the vent and seeing if something is behind it could solve the mystery.

The Ducts Need a Thorough Cleaning

Not surprisingly, if a homeowner neglects to clean the ducts, then dirt, cobwebs and more may amass. The amount could become so significant that blockages occur, as evidence by restricted airflow. The presence of dirt in the ducts creates another worry about air quality. Not all the dirt in the ducts will likely remain there. Expect some of the particles to come out of the vents and into the home. Keep air quality in mind when thinking about duct cleaning.

A Duct Leak Exists

A leak is the opposite of a clog, but the results may be similar. A leak in the system could lead to air escaping, which means reduced airflow. An inspection of the ducts could reveal a leak. An HVAC technician should fix a small leak without much trouble. More extensive problems causing significant leaks may require a more thorough repair job.

Some May Have Issues With Dampers

Homeowners may opt to install multi-zone HVAC systems to better control heating and cooling in specific sections of the house. Directing hot and cold air to the most-trafficked rooms helps cut down on waste and costs while increasing some responsibilities. Namely, homeowners need to keep an eye on multi-zone dampers. Dampers open and close to either allow or restrict airflow. Is one or more damper operating improperly? If so, then the malfunctioning damper might mimic problems similar to a clogged duct.

Fixing the damper should address problems directly resulting from troubles with opening and closing it. However, if other problems exist, managing them separately becomes necessary. Requesting an inspection when one of our technicians performs the damper fix could uncover the issue.

Signing up for maintenance service allows an HVAC technician from Simmons Heating & Cooling to thoroughly inspect your system once or twice a year. The inspection could include a duct cleaning, which could keep dirt levels to a minimum.

The team at Simmons Heating & Cooling in Chesapeake, VA, wants to help customers with all their heating and cooling needs. Call our team this week to find out how we can help. Inquire about our geothermal and generator work, too.

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