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What Causes Ductwork Damage


Ductwork is a crucial part of a home or businesses' HVAC system. Think of it like this: while the furnace or air conditioner acts as the heart of your HVAC system, working to produce cool or warm air, the ducts work as the veins of the system, distributing it to various rooms or areas throughout the facility. However, just like your air conditioner and furnace, ducts need maintenance to continue to work properly over time.

For instance, poorly maintained or damaged ducts can cause your utility bills to escalate due to leakages and lost air in the system. They can lead to poor indoor air quality and the ineffective distribution of hot and/or cool air throughout a home or office. And damaged ducts can also put excess wear and tear on your air conditioner and furnace, causing each to work harder for longer. Hence, it's important to maintain and repair damaged ducts as necessary.

Just how do ducts become faulty? Here's a look at some of the leading causes of ductwork damage:

What Causes Ductwork Damage?

Curious as to what the leading causes of ductwork damage are? You've come to the right place. Here's a look:

  • Mold and particulate buildup: While mold, dirt and particulate buildup might not cause physical damage to your ducts, it can lead to poor indoor air quality throughout the home and increased allergic symptoms among occupants. Usually a good cleaning can wipe out any contaminants from your system and have it dispersing clean air once again. 
  • Animals: It's not uncommon for small critters and insects to make their way into your ductwork, and when they do, they can cause serious damage to your system. It's not difficult to know whether animals have invaded your ducts, you'll likely hear them scampering through the system. Ants and insects can be more difficult to detect, but you'll often see them exiting the system around vents. If you think animals have invaded your vents, make sure you resolve the problem immediately before too much damage has a chance to occur. 
  • Impact damage: Ducts are typically exposed in the basement, so it's not unusual for them to become damaged in these areas of exposure. Routine impact to ducts can often result in leaky connections, holes, dented sections and more. If your basement has moisture problems, it could even lead to rusting.
  • Age: Like anything, ducts have a shelf life. It's said that most ducts last anywhere from 20-25 years before damage occurs or replacement is necessary. If your ductwork is getting up there in age, make sure to take preventative action and have it replaced to avoid trouble in the future.
  • Poor maintenance: One of the easiest ways to maintain your ducts is having them periodically professionally cleaned. According to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA), ducts should be professionally cleaned at least once every three to five years, and more frequently if residents suffer from allergies. 

How to Repair Ductwork Damage

If your ducts are damaged and need to be repaired, you’ll need to have a professional come out to assess the damage. The pros at David Gray Heating & Air are skilled in a variety of air conditioner repair, installation and service needs including ductwork repair. Contact us today.