Causes of Leaking A/C Ducts

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Leaky ducts in an air conditioning system create numerous problems, such as structural damage, health problems and inefficient summer cooling. Leaky ducts are often the result of poor installation or the installation of the wrong type of duct in the home. Proper installation and preventive maintenance can create better air quality and promote efficient summer cooling that requires less energy consumption.

Condensation

  • Condensation occurs naturally as cool air traveling through the ducts in the home meets with warmer, more humid air in the space surrounding the ducts, such as in an attic or underneath the home. An example of condensation is the moisture that forms on a glass of water outdoors on a hot summer day. Leaky ducts eventually cause water to form and fall from the exterior of vents in the home.

Humidity

  • Dehumidifiers remove humid air from the home during the summer. Dehumidifying relieves leaky, sweaty ducts and increases the operating efficiency of the air conditioning unit, in turn leading to reduced energy costs for summertime cooling. During the winter, reverse the dehumidifier settings to add more humid air into the home to prevent dry skin and to create better air quality.

Mold and Mildew

  • Leaky ducts produce mold and mildew, which may float through the air and accumulate on surfaces, including walls and furniture. In addition to structural damage, mold and mildew create health problems for people with mold and mildew allergies and for people with respiratory illnesses. The water given off from leaky air ducts may also cause rust in buildings made from metal or on the roofs of buildings made from metal.

Insulation

  • Installing insulated flexible ducts rather than ducts made from sheet metal and no insulation reduces the likelihood of duct leakage and sweating. Adding insulation to sheet metal ducts costs significantly less than replacing existing sheet metal ducts with insulated flexible ducts. Insulated ducts, much like dehumidifiers, also improve the efficiency of the heating unit, leading to less energy consumption and reduced utility bills during the summer cooling season.

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