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Touchstone Heating & Air Inc. Blog

High Heating and Cooling Costs? The Ducts May Be the Problem

inside-corrugated-air-ductWe run our HVAC systems throughout the year in Central Florida, often with the air conditioner running even during winter—and heating systems taking over for a few days here and there. If you keep a close eye on your utility bills (always a good plan!), you should have an idea of what your seasonal heating and cooling costs are, and they should remain steady through the season.

Sudden spikes in the cost of heating and cooling your house when there isn’t an obvious reason for it is often a warning of a malfunction. Your might first think it’s a problem in the AC or the heater. Almost any type of repair need in a cooling or heating system will cause it to drain more money as it runs. But one of the main causes of wasted energy in an HVAC system isn’t located in the AC or heater—it’s in the ductwork. You may not realize it, but the cure for your high utility bills might be professional duct repair in Macclenny, FL from our experts.

What Might Be Wrong With the Ductwork?

There are several possibilities, but the most frequent trouble is the ductwork has air leaks. Ducts can sustain damage from several sources, and in Florida one of the biggest troubles is high humidity. This can cause corrosion in metal ducts, and the development of mold and mildew can end up damaging plastic ducts and ductboard (a kind of thick paper board used for many ducts). Ducts in the attic can suffer damage from items stored there. The basic stress of air pressure in the ducts over time can also cause air leaks to begin. If the ducts were poorly installed in the first place (and this is an unfortunately common occurrence), there’s a much higher chance of wear on the ducts leading to leaks.

Why This Is a Serious Problem

A few air leaks in the ducts—doesn’t sound too bad, right? The truth is that leaks in air ducts are pretty bad, even if they’re small. Ductwork is designed to be airtight all along its length—this is how the ducts maintain the air pressure necessary to successfully move cooled or heated air from the AC/heater to the various rooms. Even a single small hole ruins the airtight seal and causes air pressure to drop.

Consider also what happens to the air going out those leaks: it’s not ending up in the rooms. You’ve already paid to heat or cool that air, and it’s not entering the rooms but instead going into the attic or spaces between walls. You don’t want to pay money to heat or cool your attic! Up to 30% of the air moving through the ducts can be lost to air leaks, and that means spending a third more on heating and cooling costs.

Duct sealing is a service only professionals can provide. (Leave the duct tape alone! This is not what duct tape is for.) Call us when you’ve got out-of-control HVAC bills. We’ll find the source and have it fixed.

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