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How Your Ducts Might Hurt Your Heating System

We all know what a broken heating system means from your home: improper heating, expensive repair costs, plus those nasty spikes in your utility bills. As a result, many homeowners take great care to avoid any turbulence or issues that may slow down, damage, or break their heating systems. 

Luckily, it’s easy to avoid the obvious culprits, such as branches or debris falling into your heating system or leaks sprouting from compromised sealant. 

But one area homeowners may forget about is their ductwork system. Ductwork is a vital part of a heating system, so any damage your ductwork sustains could result in broken heating equipment. 

As a homeowner, it’s imperative that you fully understand what can go wrong with your ductwork system and how that damage can negatively affect your heater. 

Below, we’ll dive into how your ducts may be hurting your heating system – and what you can do about it.  

How Duct Systems Work

Before we can understand how a duct can impact the functionality of your heating system, it’s essential to understand what a duct system is and how it operates. 

Air ducts form a network of tubes that run through your home or commercial building. They funnel the warm air that comes from your HVAC system through the building, raising the temperature in each room.

Think of your ductwork like an extension of your heating system; although your ducts are a separate entity from your heater, they play an integral role in distributing heat throughout your home. 

Many pieces form the ductwork system, including: 

  • Pipes
  • Trunks
  • Duct transitions
  • Plenum containers
  • Flues
  • Refrigerant lines 
  • Air handlers
  • Drain pans
  • Drain lines

Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t be. Thankfully, you don’t need to know how all of these parts and pieces work (that’s what we’re here for).

All you need to know is that these mechanisms are all integral parts of your air duct system. And with that many features, it’s all too easy for something to go wrong. 

When your duct system becomes damaged, this affects your heater and heating system as a whole. 

How Damaged Ducts Can Damage Heating Systems 

Imagine a tree in your yard has fungus. The fungus starts on a tree branch but will eventually spread to the entire tree, putting the plant at risk of sustaining severe, possibly life-threatening, damage. 

Duct systems work similarly. When your ducts become damaged, it can prevent your heating system from working adequately. Ductwork can harm your HVAC equipment through dust buildup, poor efficiency, and reduced power. 

Dust Buildup 

Your air ducts accumulate a certain amount of dirt, dust, and grime inside the tubes throughout the years. Of course, we expect this to happen; that’s why HVAC systems come with high-grade filter systems. 

What’s not expected, however, is when your air ducts don’t get cleaned regularly. The buildup then grows and grows until finally, it makes its way to your heating system itself. 

Once dirt and other debris enter your heating system, it can cause severe damage to the system’s internal mechanisms, which can wear down the parts or even cause a breakdown. 

Not only will this slow down your heating system and possibly damage parts of your HVAC system, but it will also decrease the indoor air quality in your home. 

Think about it — who wants dust or dirt particles floating through the air? No one wants to inhale poor-quality air, especially those with breathing problems or asthma. 

Clean those ducts with the best HVAC maintenance contractors in town. AC Genius is happy to remove any buildup that poses a threat to your heating system. 

Poor Efficiency 

Bumps, dents, and leaks in your air duct pipes can result in weakened airflow. As you may have guessed, when air doesn’t move through the lines as easily as it should, your home doesn’t receive adequate heating and cooling. 

But poor efficiency can damage your HVAC system, too. When your air duct doesn’t power air through the vents as well as it could, this puts unnecessary strain on your HVAC system. As a result, your heating and cooling system must work twice as hard to put out the same amount of air, which speeds up the continuous deterioration of many of the machine’s parts and internal components.  

If you notice damages to your air ducts, call AC Genius to fix those right away. Prompt service can prevent your HVAC system from sustaining severe damage. 

Reduced Power

Sometimes, cracks and leaks can form around the sealing of your air ducts. When this happens, the air pressure inside the duct system drops significantly, reducing the amount of power available to heat your home correctly. 

This result is comparable to what happens when your vent has poor efficiency. In the event of reduced power, your ducts will put unnecessary strain on your HVAC system.

It also damages your HVAC system because it leads to more buildup in the pipes. The airflow cannot move debris out of the vents without proper power. Over time, dust, dirt, and debris can build up and stay stagnant on the lining of the pipes. 

How Do Ducts Get Damaged?

Your ductwork system is like any other system in your home. Gradually, it develops normal wear and tear that requires regular maintenance to manage. 

But your ductwork can become damaged in other ways, too. Some homes have exposed tubes (especially in areas like unfinished basements). If your vents continually get bumped or banged into, their pieces can move around, develop holes or dents, and eventually break down completely. 

Pest infestations are another significant way for your ducts to become damaged. When rats, mice, or other pests enter your home, they typically use your duct system as a passageway, nibbling and gnawing on your ducts as they move through the network. 

But how can you tell when a duct is damaged? There are a few big signs you should look out for: 

  • High energy bills 
  • Uneven heating or cooling
  • Excess dust 
  • Visible debris 
  • Smelling mildew 
  • Loud, clunky HVAC system 

Sometimes, your ductwork is in such poor shape that it may be best to replace it altogether. Our team of professionals will help survey the damage and advise you on whether replacement is a better option than repairs and maintenance. 

Duct Cleaning and AC Maintenance 

Cleaning your air duct pipes will remove dirty buildup that will eventually wreak havoc on your HVAC system. To prevent further damage to your air duct and HVAC equipment, make sure you schedule annual maintenance on your ventilation system. 

A vital question to address is “How often should you perform air duct maintenance?” According to the Air Duct Cleaners Association, homeowners should schedule duct cleaning about once every three to five years. 

However, you may want to consider cleaning your air ducts more if you notice any early signs of it falling into disarray or you have an older air duct system. 

Don’t Delay! Call AC Genius Today! 

When you need AC services, you need the most experienced technicians. That’s why you should call AC Genius. 

With an army of trained technicians equipped with fully stocked trucks, 20 years of hard-earned experience, and helmed by a team of innovative leaders, AC Genius is thrilled to provide exemplary AC service throughout the Texas area.  

For the best AC services and HVAC maintenance in Dallas, Denton, Frisco, Garland, Carlton, and Flower Mound, call AC Genius today! We’ll happily survey your air duct system to provide thorough maintenance services that support healthy indoor air quality.

Call us today to book your appointment.

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