HVAC Repair Tips


Air ducts are an integral part of your HVAC system so they require care as well. As they are usually hidden, when the AC doesn’t work properly, many homeowners who don’t hire air conditioner repair services tend to consider it an issue with the mechanical parts of the HVAC system and ignore the ducts. Therefore, look for these signs because they mean that your air ducts need repair or replacement.

Excessive Dust In The House

Have you been wondering why your house is more dusty than usual and requires cleaning sooner than before? Or are you noticing that the airflow is dusty? It may be the ductwork of your HVAC unit.

Before this, let’s cover why a dusty house or dusty airflow means ductwork leakage. Air filters are installed to prevent dirt and dust from getting into the air ducts. That’s why they become dirty when you clean them regularly.

But what would happen if the function of these air filters becomes useless? It can when leaks occur in air ducts. Unfiltered air penetrates the ductwork of your HVAC system which includes dust, pollutants, and others. This air is then circulated in your house which results in a dusty house and respiratory problems for everyone or complications for people who already have respiratory health conditions.

Moreover, dust and dirt are damaging to the components of your air conditioner as well. So, the sooner you fix this problem, the better it will be for your HVAC system and the health of your family members. Therefore, hire an expert to inspect your ductwork.

Unexpectedly High Electricity Bills

If you use your air conditioner regularly or in a certain season of the year, you know when to expect higher energy bills due to the use of the AC. However, if the energy bills are unexpectedly high, there may be a problem with the air conditioner.

There are many reasons for high energy bills like using a new appliance that you didn’t have before, running the dishwasher half-full, and others, but many causes can be related to air conditioners. Even when the energy costs spike unexpectedly, the reason is difficult to find. It can be due to low refrigerant, improper installation, an old unit, and others. However, a big reason for this is a leak in the ductwork also.

Due to the leakage, warm air will keep coming into the ductwork and the house. This will put more stress on the air conditioner to cool the house. It will run for longer and use more energy. This will lead to high energy bills.

Uneven Cooling Of The House

If air ducts are installed correctly and your AC works fine, your house should be cooled evenly. There should be no one room warmer or cooler than the other. However, if this is the case and you experience uneven temperature throughout the house, the air ducts may be to blame.

However, the issue is not always a leak in the ductwork. The problem could be a closed or blocked register. Make sure no registers or vents are blocked by a piece of furniture or anything else and they are open.

Moreover, if you have been facing uneven cooling since the first day of HVAC installation, there may be ductwork or HVAC sizing problems, or improper installation of the ducts.

But, in case nothing is blocking the registers, the HVAC system was not cooling unevenly before, and your AC is working fine, then leaks in the air ducts may be the culprit. To make sure the correct cause of uneven cooling (or heating) is detected, an HVAC inspection should be done by an expert.

Load Noises From The Air Ducts

You know how your HVAC system sounds when everything is fine. However, if you hear unusual and strange sounds, there is something wrong. If the source of the loud noise is the air ducts, it can be due to a leak.

The ductwork noise that is widely associated with leaks is a whistling sound. If you hear a whistling sound when your AC is operating, it usually means an air duct leak.

However, you should be aware of other unusual sounds coming from the ductwork as well. Louder than normal rumbling is caused by an overworked air handler. Your HVAC system’s air handler may be overworking due to clogged air filters, blocked registers, undersized ducts, or ductwork leaks. The issue should be fixed immediately because an overworked air handler can overheat and break down.

In the event you hear scraping and scratching noise, this may be due to improper installation of the ducts. As air ducts contract and expand, enough space should be left to prevent the ducts from getting scratched or punctured by rubbing against the building materials around them.

Old Air Ducts

Old ductwork summons problems that can only be avoided by either frequent repairs or a complete replacement. Air ducts that are older than 10-15 years may have deteriorated seams, seals, and joints.

Over time, some parts of air ducts become dented, tangled, or damaged which leads to restricted airflow or leaks. Furthermore, if you notice physical damage to the visible parts of the old ductwork, it should signify that it’s past its lifespan.

When the ductwork is old, it may also have many hidden problems that may be affecting the performance and components of your air conditioner. For instance, leaks put more stress on the air conditioner to maintain the temperature. It can cause overheating and failure of AC components.

Therefore, if your ductwork is above the 10-year mark, get it inspected regularly. And if it’s already been 15 years, don’t hesitate to replace the entire ductwork.

Mold Or Mildew Smell From The Air Ducts

You turn on the AC and with the cold air, you also sense mold or mildew smell, then it may be due to ductwork leaks.

But how does mold grow in leaky ducts? The uneven temperature outside air ducts leads to mold and mildew growth. For instance, if your AC is running in cooling mode, cool air will pass through the ducts. Due to leaks or poor insulation, condensation will occur which will lead to mold or mildew infiltrating the air ducts.

Inhaling the air with mold or mildew indoors is a health risk. It can cause headaches and respiratory problems. So, get your entire HVAC system checked soon to find out the cause of the musty smell.

Poor Airflow

There are different reasons for poor airflow and one of them is leaks in the air ducts. Firstly, clean the air filters or replace them because poor airflow could be due to dirty air filters. Then, check if anything is blocking the registers or air vents.

If everything is clear, then the cause could be leaky ductwork because cracks and broken seals allow the air to leak. Due to this, you will notice that the airflow is poor and the AC is not cooling properly. However, another reason for poor airflow is a wrongly-sized HVAC unit.


Your HVAC system’s ductwork requires inspections and maintenance just like the mechanical components of the unit. Luckily, every AC repair service Vienna VA inspects the air conditioner and the ductwork. So, schedule an inspection to check if your ductwork needs repairs.


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