Common Problems with Unsealed Ducts in Palm Beach County, FL: Professional Solutions for Your Home

If your ducts show signs of damage or tangles, it may be time to install an air conditioner. The plastic material used to make ductwork is prone to breaks, tangles, and tears that can impede air circulation in your home. While the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system will still work, damaged ducts can prevent a significant amount of filtered air from reaching the interior of the home, forcing the system to work harder and increasing energy bills. If your house in Palm Beach, Florida is constantly full of dust, you may have leaking ducts.

Leaks allow dirt and dust to enter the ducts and for air from the air conditioner to escape. If your house is constantly full of dust, call a technician right away; otherwise, you put your respiratory health and that of your family at risk. Most duct systems last 10 to 15 years. It is important to note that duct joints, seals and connections can deteriorate over time due to natural wear and tear.

If your ducts have been in use for more than 10 years, replace them before major problems arise, such as voids, pests, or even the collapse of sections of the ducts. Ventilation grilles that show moisture, dirt, mold or mildew are one of the most common visual indicators that air ducts are contaminated or leaking. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), exposure to mold can cause eye and skin irritation, wheezing, nasal congestion, and even fever or shortness of breath. Here you can find more information about the health effects of mold in air ducts.

For years, Americans who would never tolerate leaking pipes have been willing to accept them leaking into their ducts. While water damage is hard to ignore, damage caused by duct leaks is more subtle. However, leaking ducts not only waste enormous amounts of energy but they can also cause comfort problems, moisture problems, mold and putrefaction. A duct leak is one of the most common HVAC problems associated with improper installation.

Unfortunately, many technicians use unsuitable tapes or similar products to seal duct connections which can only offer a temporary solution. Duct system leaks can have a significant impact on air conditioning systems, wasting up to 30% of energy. To reduce the workload of cooling and heating equipment, reduce wear and tear, and prevent breakdowns and costly repairs, professional duct sealing services are essential. The five most frequently asked questions are related to mold from air conditioning units or mold from air conditioning ducts; and the answers from our West Palm Beach mold inspector.

I have been performing mold inspections on homes and air conditioning units from Miami to West Palm Beach since 2004. A duct blower looks like a miniature fan door; the most common brand is the Duct Blaster made by the Minneapolis Energy Conservatory. It's important to note that pressure tray readings don't actually measure duct leaks; rather they provide a method for comparing the relative permeability of several ducts in the same house. A few weeks ago I carried out a mold inspection on air conditioning ducts in West Palm Beach Florida where the ducts were supposed to be clean and not. A duct cleaner can be connected to a residential duct system in a large air return grid or near the oven.

Another 2001 study found that Massachusetts Energy Code requirements for duct sealing were largely ignored. Researchers who inspected 186 new homes in Massachusetts reported that “approximately 80% of those homes found serious problems with the quality of duct sealing. Professional duct sealing is essential for reducing wear and tear on cooling and heating equipment by 26%. The most common method for testing the tightness of a duct system is the duct-fan test (also known as the Duct Blaster test).

Saddleback Plumbing has been providing homes in Mission Viejo California with professional duct cleaning and sealing services since 1981.

Mitchell Zapalac
Mitchell Zapalac

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