While the convenience of centralized heating and cooling is hard to beat, this type of system can be susceptible to a surprising amount of energy loss through its ductwork. In fact, The U.S Department of Energy reports that ductwork energy losses can account for more than 30% of the energy it takes to condition a space. Energy Star reported related findings: 20 to 30 percent of the air moving through a duct system is lost because of holes, leaks, and gaps in duct connections.
If there are problems with your HVAC system’s ductwork, the result is going to be a less efficient system, higher heating and cooling costs, and higher operating expenses for your facility. When it comes to air duct issues, these are the most common problems that waste energy.
1. Ductwork Leaks
Leaks in air ducts can result from a number of causes, including building renovation, corrosion, poor installation, a manufacturer defect, or even chewing and clawing from furry pests. Ductwork is also susceptible to leaks where one duct connects to another duct. Whatever the case, getting ductwork professionally sealed will allow your HVAC system to operate and condition your facility more efficiently.
2. Poor Insulation
Air ducts in unconditioned areas of a facility are going to get warm when temperatures rise. This means that when you turn on the air conditioner on a hot day, the air coming out of your vents might not be as cold as you like at first because that air has had to travel through warm ductwork to get to you. Likewise, if your ducts are exposed to the cold during winter, it may be a while before the “warm” air from your building’s heating system actually starts to feel cozy.
With air ducts that are poorly insulated or not insulated at all, an HVAC system will take longer to condition and cost more money to run.
3. Grills and Registers Have Not Been Properly Sealed
Grills and registers that are not sealed can prevent air from flowing directly from your ductwork to the space you want to condition. As a result, it will take your HVAC system a longer time (and more energy) to reach your desired temperature. An HVAC technician can properly seal your grills to eliminate that air and energy loss.
4. Damaged Flexible Ductwork
Flexible ductwork is particularly prone to damage, as it is lightweight and relatively easy to twist and tear. It’s not uncommon to find this type of ductwork torn up by mice, rats, or even raccoons.
5. Poorly Configured Ductwork
Unfortunately, this can be the most expensive problem to correct. When a facility has an insufficient or poorly designed duct system, there will often be issues with airflow and temperature imbalances that can cause an HVAC system to work less efficiently.
Consult the experienced Knoxville ductwork specialists at Del-Air Mechanical to find an HVAC solution for your building. Call (865) 205-6364 or fill out our online contact form.