Does it seem that no matter how low you set your thermostat, your home just doesn’t cool? Yet when you get your bill every month, it feels like you’re paying for the entire block’s AC? That air you pay for might be prevented from reaching you by leaks in your ductwork. Here is everything you need to know about what causes ductwork leaks and how to fix the issue.

What Is An Air Leak?

Over time, small holes and cracks can form in your air ducts. These holes let out air that is trying to cool your home. If left unfixed, these holes will grow larger and larger, causing some major issues for your home and air conditioning unit.

Signs Your Ducts Are Leaking

When your air ducts are leaking, there will often be some tell-tale signs. Here are some common AC issues that signal a problem with your air ducts:

  • Higher Energy Bills: When air leaks out of your ducts, it stops your home from cooling. Your AC has to work overtime to try and make up for the escaped air. This will skyrocket your energy bill.
  • Poor Air Quality: When you have leaks in your ducts, you’ll notice that your home seems constantly dusty. Dust, dirt and pollutants will get sucked in through the holes and distributed through your home.  
  • Clogged Air Filters: Your air filters are in charge of stopping any pollutant from entering your home. When you have duct leaks, you will notice that these filters get dirty and clogged at an alarming rate.
  • Inefficient Cooling: The most common complaint when it comes to our AC units is inefficient cooling. Since the air is escaping through holes, your AC will be working twice as hard and only being half as effective.

Possible Causes

There are several factors that could be causing your ductwork to leak. Some of the leading causes include:

  • AgeThe older your ductwork is, the more likely it is to have holes and leaks. Over time, caulk and other sealing units can start to crack, letting air escape. Big leaks can occur when the ductwork itself shifts out of place. If you are constantly repairing leaks in your old ductwork, it might be time to replace your ducts.  
  • Closing Off VentsWhen you close off your air vents, air gets trapped inside the ductwork. Your AC does not realize that this air is trapped and continues to send air that way. This pressure from all the air builds up until it caused cracks or holes in your ductwork. Avoid shutting off your vents for long periods of time to stop this problem.
  • Rodent DamageSometimes, critters will find their way to your ductwork and chew through. Be sure to exterminate any pests that may be causing your home damage.

How to Fix It

The most efficient way of locating and fixing air duct leaks is by having an annual maintenance check-up. Your HVAC technician will check for and seal any leaks that they find. For more information on AC maintenance check-up, call One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® of Clearwater today. Our experienced team will be more than happy to help you setup your HVAC maintenance so your home will stay cool and comfortable, all year round.