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Cleveland HVAC Blog

Ductwork Obstructions Are a Headache — Common Issues Pros Can Tackle

Posted by Paul Wadsworth on Wed, Dec 04, 2013 @ 01:51 PM

A dirty filter here, a stuck damper there — pretty soon your utility bills are on a nonstop upward trend. Ductwork obstructions are a headache. They increase energy consumption, directly impact whole-house comfort and can contribute to significant HVAC issues and repairs. Have your ductwork inspected to determine if any of these common issues are causing problems with your HVAC system.

Air Filters

ductwork headachesDirty and clogged filters are the leading cause of HVAC system failures. For this reason, it's usually the first place an HVAC technician will look if he or she suspects ductwork obstructions are causing your heating or cooling issues. Dirty filters will also compromise your indoor air quality, which can trigger allergies and other respiratory issues. Make sure you check the air filter monthly and change it as soon as dirt or dust is visible.

On occasion, filters can be sucked into the ductwork, forming a significant obstruction. This can also be a fire hazard if it migrates into the blower assembly fan.

Flex Ducts

Many newer systems use flex ducts because they're cost efficient and easier to install. However, they're also more prone to dents and collapse than their hard duct counterparts, which makes them more susceptible to duct obstructions.

Leaky Ductwork

There are two primary causes of leaky ducts: poor installation and outdated duct sealing products. If your system was poorly installed, the duct sections can begin to separate, or they may have never been adequately sealed together in the first place. If your ducts are older and you haven't had them resealed, old mastic tape or caulk can erode. These leaks prevent air from circulating efficiently.

Insulation Obstructions

Some ducts have insulation on the interior that can separate away and collapse into the ductwork. In other instances, leaky ducts can allow exterior insulation and debris to settle inside.

Stuck Dampers

If you have a zoning system, the dampers in the ductwork can become stiff, causing them to get stuck in the almost closed or closed position. This is a major obstruction and will compromise your home's comfort.

Think your Cleveland area home is suffering from ductwork obstructions? Contact the experts at P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling. We proudly handle the HVAC needs of homeowners throughout greater Cleveland.

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Paul WadsworthPaul Wadsworth is the President and Owner of P.K. Wadsworth Heating and Cooling. For 37 years, Paul has been providing heating and cooling services to the Greater Cleveland area. P.K. Wadsworth has been a trusted Cleveland HVAC service company for over 75 years. The company understand the area's construction and local heating and air conditioning needs. Paul has an MBA from the University of Michigan and a B.S., Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. Paul is the Chairman of COSE's Energy Advisory Council. He's been President of the Cleveland Air Conditioning Contractors of America and a founding member of the local chapter. Paul was born and raised in Cleveland and has been active in the local community. He resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and two sons.

The opinions and statements contained in this article are for general informational purposes only and are not instructions. Only trained, licensed and experienced personnel should attempt installation/repair. The author assumes no liability for the opinions/statements made in this article. Any individual attempting a repair or installation based on this article does so at their own risk of loss.

Topics: ductwork, ductwork issues, air filters, indoor air quality, hvac technician

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