Replacing an older home heating and air conditioning system is something most homeowners routinely include in their list of home upgrades, repairs, and renovations. Sometimes, however, no such updating is planned for the ducts that must distribute the cooled or heated air from the HVAC system throughout the home.
When the ducts are older or have become damaged in some way, failing to replace them can be an error in judgment that can prove costly over time. If you are preparing to replace your current HVAC system without also upgrading the ducts, here are some of the potential problems you may experience.
Restricted air flow
Ducts that were designed decades ago may not have the size capacity needed to deliver heated and cooled air throughout the home. Sometimes, this is caused by ducts that were manufactured with diameters too small to accommodate the amount of air that higher efficiency systems are able to move. Even ducts that have large enough diameters can restrict air flow if they have been crushed or damaged.
Restricted air flow can also become a problem when clogs exist inside the ducts. These clogs can be caused by a variety of conditions, including operating in a very dusty or dirty area, insufficient filter changes, or even rodent activity inside the ductwork.
Homeowners who are preparing to replace their HVAC system will want to first ensure that their current ducts are properly sized, unobstructed, capable of handling the new demands, and that higher efficiency components being installed.
Another problem that can affect ductwork performance is insufficient length. This commonly occurs when the home was renovated and enlarged without also extending the length of the ducts. Homeowners who have ducts that are not sufficiently long enough to reach all parts of the home can experience issues with their HVAC system, including:
- improperly heated or cooled rooms
- excessive wear due on HVAC components because they must work harder to bring the home to the desired time
- higher than normal heating and cooling bills
Before making a firm decision about continuing to use your current ducts or replacing them with new ones, take time to discuss your situation fully with qualified HVAC technicians. These professionals have the training and experience to determine whether your current ductwork is still serviceable or whether installing new ones would help you improve your efficiency and enjoy more comfortable temperatures and conditions in your home.