How to Watch for Duct Breaches

Most homes in the Portland, OR area use a system of ducts to transfer air from the HVAC system to the four corners of the home. The ducts are typically hidden behind the walls, in the attic or similar out-of-the-way locales. That helps keep them protected from damage, but when damage does occur, it can be very hard to spot. Damage to your ducts can take place when animals crawl into your space, when work on other parts of the house goes awry, or sometimes when the bolts or connections between duct pieces wear out. 

A breach in the ducts is a problem because it disrupts the efficient operation of the system. It pulls out conditioned air or pulls in unconditioned air, which forces your system to work harder to do its job. Monthly heating and cooling costs will go up, and the added strain will eventually cause trouble elsewhere in the system. The good news is that a trained technician can seal the breach using duct mastic, a fitted replacement part or simply by replacing the failed bolt or seal with a new one.

The trouble is spotting the duct breach in the first place. Since the ducts are usually hidden, it’s going to be difficult to notice when once has occurred. Luckily, there are still ways to spot the problem. When you notice any of the following signs, shut the system off and call a repair service immediately.

  • Cold spots or warm spots formed when air from the breach blows against a nearby wall or ceiling.
  • Higher bills than expected, especially if you haven’t used your system more than normal.
  • Air that is cooler or warmer than expected coming from your vents.
  • Air flow that isn’t as powerful as you’d expect coming from your vents.

Call Clean Air Act, Inc to repair duct breaches in your home.

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