5 HVAC Problems Caused by Air Ducts
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Your HVAC system is very complex. This means that there are a lot of components that could be the root of HVAC problems. Your HVAC technician can always help you pinpoint what may be causing issues for your comfort. These are some common HVAC problems that could be caused by air ducts.


The first of the HVAC problems that could possibly be attributed to your air ducts is unpleasant odors. Some may suspect the central AC unit as the source of the odor, but your air ducts could be the culprit. Sometimes moisture can build up in the ducts, allowing for growth of mold or mildew.

It is possible for insects or rodents to leave deposits in your air ducts, as well. Unpleasant odors can be caused by all of these factors. No one wants their home to smell bad. Consider that mold or mildew or animal deposits in your air ducts could be the cause of smells in your home.

Hot & Cold Spots

Sometimes  you may notice that in moving from room to room, the comfort or temperature may change dramatically. If you walk from one room that is comfortably cool to a room that seems hot and stuffy, the ducts leading to the stuffy room could have a leak. A leak in the air duct could mean that the cool air being circulated by the HVAC system is is escaping the duct into attic or wall space. The result is a stuffy room not receiving the cool air flow!

Poor Airflow

HVAC problems with air ductsSimilarly to noticing hot and cold spots in your home, poor airflow can also be one of the HVAC problems caused by air ducts. Clogs in your air ducts can cause problems with airflow in your home. Leaks can also cause this issue. You may be able to identify if you have a clog if your home is just not as cool as you would like. A leak could cause a reduction in the flow you feel (which will also result in the temperature not cooling like you would like).

To identify the location of the problem, you can check at various air vents to see any variation in air flow from vent to vent. If there seems to be a reduction in airflow in all vents, you may have a leak or clog in one of your main air ducts. If the problem is isolated to one area, you may be able to more accurately pinpoint the location of the issue.

Clogged Filters

HVAC problems can manifest in many ways. One symptom of HVAC problems is air filters clogging more frequently than normal. Hopefully you change your air filters monthly, or at a minimum quarterly. If you do change your air filters regularly and they still seem to be abnormally clogged, your air ducts may to be to blame. If you air ducts contain debris or excessive pollutants, they may be clogging your air filters at an alarming rate. While this does mean that your air filters are functioning properly, leaving your air ducts in this condition could cause more and more problems.

Strange Sounds

One of the most frequent complaints about HVAC systems is odd sounds. While there are many possible causes of unusual sounds in your HVAC system, your air ducts may cause these HVAC problems, as well. Cracks or leaks in your air ducts can cause a whistling sound in your HVAC system. Cracks in the leaks in air ducts are not uncommon as your system ages.

Air ducts may contribute to another unusual sound in your HVAC system. Rectangular sheet ducts can cause a popping sound if there is a change in air pressure. Air duct issues commonly cause these bothersome sounds in your system.

How do I resolve air duct-related HVAC problems?

There are many solutions to air duct issues, but there are some steps you can take to try to figure out the issue and minimize the effects.

Have your air ducts inspected.

Having a professional air duct cleaner inspect your ducts may be your first step. They can let you know what the condition of your ducts is. Your ducts may be full of dust, pollen, dander, insects, and many other contaminants. Knowing the condition of your ducts if the first step in deciding on next steps.

Repair any leaks in your ducts.

An HVAC professional can help you identify leaks in your air ducts and repair them. You may not identify all the leaks or be able to repair them in a way that will last without professional help. Calling a professional with HVAC problems will help increase the efficiency and longevity of your system.

Check duct work design and sizing.

If your HVAC problems stem from an inappropriately designed system, you may need a different duct work design or sizing. Air ducts that are too small will cause your unit to overwork to cool an area. They do not allow the flow to get to the areas needed to maintain comfort.

The length of ducts and sharpness of turns in the duct work can also decrease the efficiency of your system. Your trusted HVAC technician can evaluate these things for you  and make recommendations for increased efficiency.

Consider the balance of supply and return vents.

There should be an appropriate balance of air supply vents and air return vents. You need enough air supply vents to allow for proper airflow. Your air return vents need to draw enough air into the system for conditioning. If you are lacking on either side of vents, unbalanced air pressure will decrease the comfort in your home.

Call a professional.

Some small HVAC repairs may be okay for DIY projects. However, using trained and license HVAC technicians is usually more beneficial. Problems with air ducts can often be difficult to identify and repair, depending on the location of the problem. Proper repair can often make a big difference for the efficiency of the system, so it is likely worth the expense of paying a professional to keep your HVAC system in top shape.

In conclusion, when you experience HVAC problems, call your trusted professional to help you determine the cause and solution to the problem. Your air ducts may or may not be the culprit, but your technician will be able to help!