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Home Performance and the Condition of Your Ducts

duct-cleaning-before-afterJust what does home performance mean? You may hear the term thrown around and not have understood the exact definition.

There is plenty to say about home performance, but a simple working definition is that it is how all aspects of a house work together as a single unit to achieve the goals of energy efficiency, comfort, and health. A house with air leaks that create winter drafts and poor air circulation would be an example of poor home performance. Unfortunately, many homes suffer from poor home performance in Howell, MI, and their owners don’t even realize it.

What Does This Have to Do With Ductwork?

If you’re wondering what ducts have to do with your house losing energy, you’re probably focusing on only the exterior of the house. This is called the heat envelope of the house, and it’s an essential part of better home performance. But remember that home performance includes all parts of the house working together, and poor ductwork is a major trouble area. Think back to those three goals: energy efficiency, comfort, and health. Here is how bad ductwork filled with air leaks, poor design, and dust and dirt build-up hurts all three goals of home performance:

  • Energy efficiency: Air leaks along ducts can result in a loss of 30% of the air moving through them. If the heater or air conditioner is running, 30% of heated or cooled air goes to waste into closed-off parts of the house. You’ve already paid to heat/cool that air, and not receiving any benefit from it. Poor duct design and dirty ductwork all add friction to air movement, which harms HVAC energy efficiency.
  • Comfort: When air escapes from the ductwork, it causes air pressure inside the ventilation system to drop, and this causes hot and cold spots to begin to appear around the house. More leaks can lead to a general decline in comfort.
  • Health: You must have proper air circulation to create a healthy indoor environment, and ducts that don’t allow for this will lower the air quality. Extremely dirty ductwork will continue to circulate dust and other debris around the rooms, and air leaks allow contaminants from places like the attic and between walls to infiltrate the ducts. It can even lead to mold growth because of humidity.

What Can Be Done About It?

Thankfully, you have many options for improving your house’s ductwork and putting a stop to poor home performance.

The place to start is duct testing. Our HVAC experts use special tools to find out the integrity of the ducts and how well they ventilate the home. If we find the ducts are losing air pressure, we can use sealing techniques to restore airtightness. We are also duct repair and replacement specialists—if we find areas of the ductwork that need more extensive repair work than sealing, we can get the job done. Afterwards, we’ll perform duct testing to see the improvements and make sure we’ve helped your home performance.

First Choice Heating & Cooling can help you with your ductwork. If your home had a voice … it would call First Choice!

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