An efficient ducted air conditioning unit is essential for maximum comfort at home, especially during summer. However, if a home has an air conditioning unit with outdated or inefficient ductwork, then summer relaxation days can turn into a terrible experience. Therefore, HVAC contractors must ensure that the ductwork is done thoroughly, especially when carrying out maintenance or repair work. The reason is that during HVAC repair some issues are easy to overlook, but the minor challenges can lead to inefficiencies in the performance of an AC system. This article provides an insight into some of the most common yet overlooked ductwork problems.
Gaps in Ductwork and Register Connection
It is easy to identify exposed ductwork problems such as leaks because dust streaks and water droplets are visible. However, it is difficult to deal with hidden ducts, especially where the ductwork connects with registers. From the outside, the joint between the register and the drywall might appear okay, thereby giving the impression that the ductwork is in excellent condition. Making such an assumption is a big mistake because there might be a gap between the drywall and the duct. Since heated or cooled air leaving the conduit will enter the space on the drywall, your client will not get the maximum benefit of the system. Therefore, ensure that you check the insides of every register to ascertain there are no gaps. If there are any, seal them up using regular caulk.
Sealing Duct Elbows
Most contractors often use foil tape to seal seams on AC ducts. Unlike duct tape, foil tape sticks perfectly on metal even in cold weather, thereby eliminating the chances of leakages. However, it is important to note that foil tape is excellent for longitudinal seams on metal ducts since the tape has no possibility of creasing. On duct elbows, however, the foil tape will crease and compromise the seams. Therefore, if you find out that elbow seams have been sealed with foil tape only, strip the tape, then apply duct sealant on the seams. Leave it to dry, then cover it up with the foil tape. The duct sealant will ensure the seams remain water and airtight for a very long time.
Excessively Sagging Flex Ducts
One reason why contractors love flexible ductwork is that installation can be done in a matter of hours, thereby saving time. However, if you have not worked with flex ducts before, you can miss critical issues such as excessive sagging. Understandably, flex ducts are meant to sag due to the nature of the material used. However, excessive sagging affects the efficiency of the AC ducts. Therefore, make sure that you know the recommended sag figures when maintaining flex ducts. Ideally, flex ducts should not sag more than half an inch per foot between support spacing. You can always verify this using your tape measure.