There's nothing homeowners appreciate like the cooling service of an air conditioning unit on hot, sunny days. The hot temperatures outside can warm up the home and make it almost impossible to stay comfortably cool indoors. If you want to beat the heat within your whole home by installing a new air conditioning system, and you already have ductwork for forced-air heating, a ducted air conditioning system comes as an obvious choice. The ductwork can efficiently distribute cool air throughout the home via the vents on the ceiling or flooring, giving cooling service when it is needed.
However, air conditioning ductwork can develop leaks over time and cause system inefficiency, and it is up to users of air conditioning units to be on the lookout for any signs of trouble. If your ducted air conditioning system exhibits the following symptoms, chances are high that it is leaky.
Increased energy expenses
If you feel like you are paying extra for your air conditioning, the holes or gaps in your ducts could be behind your woes, especially if you live in an old house that hasn't been inspected by a building inspector for several years. When your ductwork is leaky, your air conditioner won't able to work at peak efficiency. Consequently, your air conditioning unit will be forced to operate much harder than is required to deliver a comfortable indoor temperature. A duct leak might as well be a hole that leaves your wallet empty.
Air flow too weak or air too warm
If your air conditioner starts to take unusually longer to cool a room, or the air that is circulated within the home is too warm, chances are high that not all of the cool air produced by the unit is reaching the air supply vents because of possible leaks in the ductwork. To test the system for air flow, simply put your hand over the air supply vent. If air flow is low or weak, you should have your ductwork professionally inspected for possible air leakage.
The air feels stuffy
As cool air escapes from your conditioning system through leaky ductwork, airborne particulates such as dust in the ceiling can enter the system through the same ducts. As a result, it will not only take longer to cool a room, but the air that gets circulated might feel stuffy. If air quality within your home is poor, chances are that the air travelling through your ductwork has been contaminated. Usually, you will notice too much dust accumulating in your home over a very short time.
Call in a qualified electrician if you suspect that your air conditioning equipment is leaking money because of leaky ductwork.