Sometimes, HVAC problems that have a big impact on your home’s comfort can be hard to track down. It may surprise you that home comfort issues may not be a direct result of problems with your furnace or air conditioner; rather, leaky air ducts may be to blame. Discover three problems that leaky ductwork can cause.

1. Reduced Comfort

You always have a sign of a problem when your furnace and air conditioner don’t heat and cool your entire home evenly. Hot and cold spots throughout the home is one of the most common complaints that homeowners have about their HVAC system performance. If this has happened in your home, this may be a sign that your ducts have leaks.

When a large enough hole is in your ducts, any rooms further down that branch of your ductwork won’t receive the correct amount of air. This will cause those rooms to be hotter than they should be in the summer and colder than they should be in the winter. Without a precise balance of airflow throughout your entire home, hold and cold spots are very likely to develop.

In addition to uneven temperatures, leaky ducts can cause humidity problems in your home. Air is dehumidified as it passes over your AC evaporator coils. Leaky ducts will allow unconditioned air to leak into them and circulate throughout your home. You may notice that your indoor air feels muggy and stuffy in the summer and too dry in the winter.

2. Increasing Energy Bills

When you run your furnace or air conditioner, you still pay to heat or cool all of the air that leaks out of your ducts. Any air that leaks into your walls, basement, or attic is money wasted, as it doesn’t provide any benefit for keeping your home comfortable. This air often leaks out of poorly insulated parts of your home and never reaches the rooms where it is needed.

A good way to tell if your energy bill has risen due to leaky ducts is to monitor your bill during the heating and cooling seasons. If you have a spike in your bill during these times compared to the off-seasons, you likely are losing money on wasted HVAC efficiency. A professional duct inspection will tell you for certain whether duct leakage is to blame.

3. Poor Indoor Air Quality

Indoor air quality has a bigger impact on your health than many homeowners realize. If your HVAC system doesn’t filter dust, pet dander, mold spores, and other contaminants out of the air, members of your household could experience more frequent allergy problems and respiratory illnesses.

Leaky ducts reduce indoor air quality by allowing unfiltered air to circulate through your home. Instead of passing through the HVAC air filter, air can enter through holes in your ducts, carrying dust and other impurities from the unfiltered air in your home’s walls and pulling outdoor air in through gaps in your insulation.

In addition to lowering the quality of the air you breathe, duct leaks can cause other problems due to the dirty air that continuously circulates through the system. Your HVAC air filter is likely to clog much more quickly than normal, reducing system efficiency and even shortening the life of your furnace and AC. You may also notice a constant layer of dust on furniture and other surfaces in your home.

Keeping your ducts in good shape is essential to keep your home as comfortable and keep your energy bill low. If you notice any of these problems in your home, contact us at Apollo Heating & Air Conditioning so we can determine if leaky ducts are to blame.