16 Dec 7 Common Problems with your Ductwork
Ensuring your ductwork is free from issues and contaminants is really important. If your air ducts are dirty, damaged, or have been inexpertly installed, it can cause you problems with the air quality in your building and can increase your utility and maintenance bills as a result.
To help you identify and rectify issues with your ductwork, we introduce seven common problems that you may be experiencing at your commercial property.
A Badly Designed Ductwork System
In some instances, we work with clients who have a badly designed ductwork system installed at their property. A well-designed system is one that has vents and returns in the correct places and ensures air can flow efficiently through the entire system. Conversely, a poorly constructed ductwork system causes your HVAC to work harder and costs you more money as a result.
Another issue we sometimes see is ductwork systems that are too small (or indeed too big) for the property at which they’ve been installed. When it comes to ductwork installation, one size doesn’t fit all, and it’s important that a system is designed and installed with the size of the entire building in mind.
Loose or Poorly Sealed Grills and Registers
As you’re probably aware, your air duct system comprises various components, and the grills and registers are important parts. They regulate airflow throughout the system and prevent air from escaping before it can reach the rooms within your building. Incorrectly built systems often have poorly sealed grills and registers, which means more air is able to escape before it reaches its destination.
You should check the seals around each of the grills and registers within your air ducts and reseal them if necessary. If you leave the seals untreated or damaged, it means your HVAC system has to work harder to circulate the required air. You can easily check if the seals are effective by passing your hand over the grills and registers and ascertaining if any air is escaping.
Poor Insulation on or Around the Ducts
For ductwork to be efficient and effective, it needs to be correctly insulated. If the insulation in and around your crawlspace is poorly installed, it allows air to escape. What’s more, some building owners apply insulation sparsely to try and save some money, which means your ductwork isn’t as insulated as it perhaps should be.
When inspecting your air ducts, you need to check that the insulation is tightly wrapped around the crawlspaces and is evenly distributed throughout. As a general rule of thumb, when it comes to insulating your air ducts, the more, the merrier!
Leaky ductwork is alarmingly common, but it can cause you to lose between 20-40% of the hot air that circulates around your system. Remember, air only needs the tiniest gap through which to escape, which can render your entire HVAC system ineffective. Not only will this cost you more money in utility bills, but it will also cause you an issue when it comes to regulating the temperature in your building.
If you notice leaks in your ductwork, it’s so important to hire a technician to fix the panels or cracks to ensure your system can work at full capacity. Leaking ductwork will cost you a lot of money in the long run, so it’s well worth spending the money required to fix it permanently.
Accumulation of Dust or Debris
Dust particles are carried in the air and enter your HVAC system and air ducts. Unfortunately, there’s very little you can do about this, as it largely depends on the air quality in the place you live. For instance, if you live in a particularly polluted city, the air quality will be poor, meaning more dust and pollutants will be present as particles in the air that circulates within your building.
While you can’t really prevent dust or debris from entering your air ducts, you can regularly clean your ducts to ensure dust and debris isn’t able to accumulate and cause even more problems over time. When dust or debris builds up, it reduces the efficiency of your system while dirtying the air that passes around your air ducts.
Dirty Air Ducts
Unless you develop a schedule for regularly maintaining and cleaning your air ducts, you will allow dirt and debris to accumulate over time. When your ducts are dirty, unclean air circulates within your building and is then potentially damaging to the health and wellbeing of your employees.
An accumulation of dust within your air ducts also means your HVAC system has to work harder in order to regulate the temperature within your building. If you don’t regularly clean your air ducts, you will end up spending more money on maintenance and repair bills than you would on cleaning. Therefore, scheduling a regular deep cleaning of your air ducts is a smart move.
Mould and Mildew Growing Within
As air ducts are responsible for circulating warm air, there’s a significant risk of mould and mildew growth within the system. This is particularly the case if your building is located in a high humidity region. But that being said, mould and mildew can appear in many situations. And while mildew is easy to remove, mould poses much more of an issue.
If left untreated, mould can cause a range of health complications for your employees, including skin irritations, allergic reactions, and even breathing difficulties, particularly for those with pre-existing health conditions. Therefore, it’s so important that you regularly check your air ducts for mould and mildew and take the required action to deep clean the ducts as and when required.
If you’re experiencing any of the above issues with your ductwork, then it’s time to do something about it. At Deduct, we’re experienced in maintaining, cleaning, and improving ductwork in a range of industries and would be happy to help you improve the efficiency of your commercial air ducts.