The lifespan of a ducted heating and cooling system can range from 15 to 20 years. The ductwork is necessary to sustain airflow into the interior. However, they are sometimes plagued with problems. You can keep your heating and air conditioning units efficient by observing regular maintenance. In this article, we will examine why you need to tune-up your system and how often you should do it.
Ducted Systems and Airflow Issues
Ducted systems may experience airflow issues due to a leak or obstructions within the ductwork. When there is a leakage, some of the conditioned air will be lost to the adjoining spaces. The attic and crawlspaces can impact the temperature and quality of conditioned air. You will notice the room is dustier and stuffy, most probably due to insufficient airflow.
Airflow problems within the ductwork can cause hot and cold spots within your home. That is why some parts of the building may have adequate heating, while others are not heated at all. The leaks may also allow unconditioned air into one of the rooms, making it impossible to regulate temperatures effectively.
We recommend scheduling a tune-up service for your ductwork annually to eliminate the risk of airflow problems. You should make a point of changing or cleaning the filter once a month to stop dust and debris. Ensure that the seal on the vents and grills is intact to block the entry for pests, debris, and contaminants.
Servicing Components in Your System
Annual servicing of your system will keep components clean and optimize its efficiency. Dust can collect on parts of your equipment, making it prone to breaking down. For example, grime may form a coating on the refrigerant tubes, diminishing its capacity to absorb heat.
Our staff will not only clean the components but will also troubleshoot critical parts of the system. Technicians can check the refrigerant levels and refill them where necessary. An annual HVAC tune-up will also ensure that moving parts of your system are lubricated.
Another critical maintenance task is to check connections with the system. Tubes or wires may get tangled with other components, leading to faults. Improper connections can cause a short-circuit and may start residential fires.
A tune-up in fall ought to assess whether your carbon monoxide and smoke alarms are operational. The safety system should be ready by winter when your furnace will be running most of the time. Gases like carbon monoxide are odorless and colorless, meaning they are hard to notice without detectors.
An annual tune-up service may include tasks such as:
- Checking and refilling the refrigerant
- Checking connections in your equipment
- Cleaning dust off components of your system
- Testing carbon monoxide and smoke detectors
Address Air Quality Issues
While the ducted system is necessary for consistent airflow, a poorly maintained ductwork can diminish the indoor air quality of your home. Leaks in the ductwork can create negative pressure in the interior, drawing in unconditioned air. The air quality will be affected by the intake of pollutants from the attic and crawlspaces.
Negative pressure can increase the risk of carbon monoxide and noxious fumes accumulating in your furnace. The toxic gases could be drawn into your home, especially if you have multiple combustion equipment. That is likely to happen in winter when your heater, stove, and dryer are within the same space.
Airflow problems within your ductwork could also lead to high levels of moisture. Spores and microbial growth tend to thrive in the humid atmosphere of your ducted system. When there is an infestation of spores, you may notice an unpleasant smell.
Microbial growth and poor indoor air quality will often cause respiratory problems. Technicians can spot signs of contamination within your ductwork during annual maintenance. They can recommend effective air quality solutions to keep your home safe through the seasons.
Detect Substandard Installations
During a service visit, our technicians will also review the design and placement of your ductwork. They check to see if it follows the shortest route possible and whether it is unnecessarily bulky. Bulky systems are vulnerable to issues, such as kinks and twists, which often compromise the ductwork’s efficiency.
The best place to install the ductwork is usually in a conditioned area of the home. Heating and cooling professionals have to consider the unique architecture of the building. Remember that the heating load can be affected by factors, such as shading from trees and exposed wall area. Also, some homes may not have adequate conditioned spaces for the ductwork.
Again, your home’s interior cooling load must match the capacity of the equipment. That means your HVAC unit should be of the right size to allow for adequate heating and cooling. If your air conditioners or heating systems are too large, they will keep switching on and off. If they are too small, they will overwork while trying to condition the house.
The system also requires a reliable thermostat in order to precisely regulate the temperature of the room. You may use a programmable device to schedule heating and cooling when you get back home. The enhanced accuracy can help minimize your utility bills.
How to Tell If You Need Servicing
If you skip annual tune-ups, your system is likely to become inefficient. Your equipment will run for longer and draw more energy to provide the same level of comfort. Your unit may also show signs of failure, such as frequent breakdowns.
Another sign is if you notice unpleasant odors. It is usually a sign that the accumulation of moisture has triggered microbial growth. You should call Honest Air Conditioning in Mesa if you notice unusual sounds. The sound could be due to failing parts that could ruin more components in your system.
In a ducted system, it is always crucial to pay attention to your indoor air quality. While contaminants may come from other sources, on many occasions, the culprit is faulty ductwork. An annual tune-up is crucial to ensure your system is free from leaks and blockages.
A sudden spike in utility bills is another sign that your ducted system is becoming increasingly inefficient. During maintenance, our technicians in Mesa will assess airflow, air quality, and the equipment’s components.
If your system is close to the end of its life, our BBB-accredited company may recommend an upgrade. Sometimes, replacing your equipment with a more efficient one may be the most cost-effective option in the long term. If you opt to replace faulty components, it could end up being expensive, and your system may still fail eventually.
For ducted systems, you can organize for an air conditioning system tune-up in spring. Your furnace can be checked in the fall to prep it for winter. While it is recommended that you undertake a general system tune-up once a year, it also important to consider how often you use it. A home with multiple occupants and pets will require more tune-ups.
For quality HVAC system services, you can contact Honest Air Conditioning in Mesa. Our highly skilled technicians can provide AC and heating repair, installation, and maintenance services for a wide range of models and equipment. We offer air quality solutions, air conditioners, furnaces, geothermal heat pumps, and more. Our friendly team can help you choose a custom solution that will address your home’s unique comfort and safety needs.