Air Conditioning Ducts: An Insight

What are air ducts?

Air ducts are the pathways that allow air to enter and exit a system after desired modification in its temperature. They form the heart of the ventilation system in any air conditioning (cooling or heating) unit. Any leakage in these ducts can lead to an increase in the amount of dust , dirt and other pollutants entering the house with air.The ductwork can be made of different materials ranging from galvanized steel and aluminium to polyurethane and phenolic insulation panels and fiberglass duct boards which are pre-insulated. Various flexible ducting options are also available in the market with latest designs.

Can air ducts be repaired?

The answer to this question is usually yes! If a problem in the air duct is detected in a timely manner, the repair can be carried out by a professional serviceman. However, ducted heating repairs are not advisable in certain cases wherein the damage is detected very late or if the repair will not last very long due to a major problem. In such conditions, replacement of duct is often advised.

What are the potential problems if air ducts are not repaired?

Leaking air ducts can lead to the following potential problems:

Increase in indoor air pollution

Higher dust levels entering with the air ducts

Poor efficiency in cooling may be due to the need of ducted evaporative cooling repairs or ducted heating repair

Increase in electricity bills

More frequent need for dusting and sweeping the house

Recurrent pulmonary infections or allergies in residents

The simplest solution to all these problems is regular duct cleaning and inspection

How to repair air ducts?

The most common reason for air duct repair is leakage. This can be addressed in two simple steps. The first step is to find out the site of leakage. The leakage is usually present in one location but the whole ductal system should be thoroughly inspected and examined. Once the site of leakage has been determined, the next step is to seal it. The sealing can be done using specialized tapes or mastic. The commonly available duct tape should not be used for this purpose as it provides only a temporary solution. The repair of air ducts requires not only locating and sealing any leakage but also checking the pressure inside the duct and making sure it is within the specification of the air conditioning unit which the ductal system is attached to. Any error in these calibrations can lead to the failure of the air conditioning or heating equipment entirely.

Due to these factors it is advisable to get professional help for ductal maintenance and repair.