How to Decide if Your Ductwork Needs Replacement
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How to Decide if Your Ductwork Needs Replacement


If you have an older home that’s never had its ductwork replaced, or perhaps a relatively new home with badly designed or manufactured ducts, you may need to consider duct repairs or replacement. Faulty ducts can result in substantial energy loss, higher utility bills, uneven heating and cooling, and overworked HVAC equipment. Leaky ducts also can result in backdrafting, with dirty air infiltrating ducts and contaminating indoor air. So, how can you tell your ducts are malfunctioning?

Signs that ductwork needs to be repaired or replaced include:

  • Heating and cooling bills that are higher than your neighbors’ bills, even though their homes are the same size as yours.
  • A pattern of increased energy costs in recent years that doesn’t seem to have any other explanation.
  • Visual signs such as hanging ducts, or duct sections that obviously are not firmly connected.

Of course, the best way to tell whether duct repair or replacement is necessary is with a professional inspection. The HVAC professional will visually inspect the ducts, plus possibly conduct a blower test to determine the physical integrity of the ductwork. This also will reveal whether a professional duct cleaning is necessary.

The professional may recommend duct sealing and perhaps adding insulation to duct sections running through unconditioned areas such as the crawl space or basement. While a moderately handy homeowner can seal loose duct connections in accessible locations with mastic sealant and metal-backed tape, he or she probably can’t access all of the duct network. A truly comprehensive job will require professional service by experts in duct repair and replacement.

In rare cases, the ductwork may have deteriorated so badly, and is in such poor shape, that replacement is the recommended option. Whatever your course of action, it’s vitally important to have efficient, tight ductwork that delivers conditioned air throughout your home, with minimal waste, and then brings it back to your HVAC equipment to be reheated or re-cooled.

For help deciding whether to replace or repair faulty ducts, please contact us at Roth Heating & Cooling, providing quality HVAC service to Portland and the surrounding communities.

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