House dusty and inefficient? Check out the ductwork.

Ductwork is not very exciting to talk about.  I get it. There are many more interesting things in the world for sure. However, ductwork is a big deal man. At ECS, we audit approximately 250 homes a year and about half of them have major deficiencies in at least one ductwork system. By deficiencies, I mean disconnections, holes, mis-configurations, and deficient or missing insulation.

Poorly configured ductwork allows heat and AC to leak into crawlspaces or attics. Leaky ducts also allow dirt, dust, and animal dander to get into your system and circulate throughout your home. Depending upon where your duct deficiencies are and what size filter you have on your system, your HVAC filter may catch the junk in the air but it won’t catch it all. This leads to air quality problems that sometimes contribute to health problems. Here’s a the inside of a duct system we recently replaced:

dirt and dust caked onto interior of hardpipe duct

Having your duct system cleaned can be a valuable service. In this case, we instead replaced the entire system with R8 flex duct sealed at all connections with collars and a heavy coating of mastic. The system was simply too far gone. This client had lots of disconnections and other major ductwork deficiencies that were both making his home expensive to heat and cool and also made the home perpetually dirty.

The home operates as a whole system much like the human body or even a car. If one part isn’t working properly, it impacts the whole system. We often see clients with very high end 95% AFUE 16 SEER HVAC systems with garbage duct systems and they are perplexed as to why the home is still uncomfortable. Think of the duct system as your HVAC delivery system and you can see how important it truly is to maintaining a healthy and efficient home.