The expected lifespan of your ductwork is around 10 to 15 years. Many homeowners replace it when they upgrade their HVAC, but most of the time, this essential part of your cooling and heating system is left to linger. It is usually a matter of recognizing the several signs it is time to replace your ductwork in St. Louis, MO. Here are six things to watch for when you do not remember the last time your home had new ductwork installed:
- Excess dust: When ductwork wears out, it allows more dust and dirt inside through the holes and breaches. This dust disperses through your home, leaving you feeling like your house will never be clean again. You may also notice that you and your household members sneeze more often, and allergy sufferers face irritated skin, itchy eyes and coughs. If you have dust, you also let in extra allergens, so it may be time to replace ductwork for the sake of your family’s health.
- Spike in utility bills: Old ductwork leaks as seals become loose, and gaps widen. As heat moves through your ducts, it gets lost, too, meaning your furnace runs longer and works harder. Eventually, this shows up in your utility bills. Spikes in heating and cooling costs frequently suggest worn-out HVAC machinery or ductwork, so call a technician to run a blower test and see if your ductwork remains fully intact.
- Pest issues: Pest infestations often have nothing to do with the cleanliness of your home and everything to do with their access to it. If, after years of no bugs or rodents, you suddenly face an infestation, they are likely taking advantage of wrecked ducts. Check your ducts for signs of pests, and call an exterminator. Once you solve that problem, move on to improving your HVAC system.
- Uneven heating or cooling: Ductwork allows hot and cold air from your HVAC system to travel effortlessly through your home. When it starts to wear out, you will notice some rooms stay warmer or cooler than others. You may also find that no matter how much you adjust your thermostat, nothing improves, and your home remains uncomfortable. The source of uneven heating or cooling can be anywhere in your HVAC system, but you need a technician to check ductwork.
- Mold and mildew odors: Badly connected or insulated ducts become mold and mildew gardens. When leaks and temperature differences produce condensation, which creates the environment for these organisms to thrive, this development causes respiratory issues among sensitive household members and an unwelcome odor. You may require mold remediation, but you should also have an HVAC technician check out your ducts.
- Noise: Except for the mechanical hum of your furnace or air conditioner, your HVAC should not be overly noisy. Rattling sounds indicate joints between ductwork sections are deteriorating. As these pieces fall apart, you hear louder rattling and, if you continue to ignore it, crashing. At that point, you have no choice but to replace ductwork.
Ashley Brothers Heating & Cooling offers high-efficiency heating and cooling in St. Louis, MO. If you notice several of these signs it’s time to replace your ductwork, give us a call and schedule an appointment.