Most homeowners rarely think about the health of their duct system, and to be honest, ducts are pretty easy to forget about. They live inside your walls after all, and like many things in life, if they’re out of sight, they’re out of mind, right? But neglecting routine duct maintenance will only cost you in the long run.

Your energy bills will grow more expensive and you’ll sacrifice indoor comfort as your HVAC system becomes less efficient. To help you better maintain the health of your ducts, the experts at Steve’s Plumbing & Heating share four signs of damaged ductwork you should never ignore.

Unusually Noisy Heating or Air Conditioning

Your heating and cooling system naturally make a bit of noise during operation. You should hear the system turning on and of course, you should also hear air coming out of your vents. But beyond those sounds, any other noises your HVAC system makes aren’t normal.

If you notice rattling or vibrating sounds that appear to be coming from behind your drywall, damaged ductwork is probably the culprit. When air passes through the ducts, it can create unusual noises if there are holes through which it can escape. Similarly, if the connector joints between sections of ductwork become damaged, air can also make noise when passing through those areas.

If you’ve noticed a sudden or gradual increase in the amount of noise your HVAC system makes, call a heating a cooling professional for a ductwork inspection. The sooner you have the problem checked out, the better. It’ll only grow worse if you ignore it.

Uneven Air Distribution

Have you noticed some of the rooms in your house are unusually warm or cool? Uneven heating and cooling is a common sign of damaged ductwork. When there are tears in the ducts or the joints are improperly sealed, conditioned air leaks out and cannot make it to its intended destination.

The result? A room that feels like it’s a completely different temperature than the rest of your house. If you’ve been noticing certain areas of your home don’t feel the same temperature as others, schedule a ductwork inspection with a heating and cooling specialist.

You might need to replace your ducts or, if you get lucky, you might just need a standard duct cleaning to remedy the issue.

Rising Energy Bills

When conditioned air can leak out of your ductwork, your furnace or air conditioner must work overtime to keep your home at a constant temperature (if that’s even possible). And when your heating or cooling unit must run on a near-constant basis because of an air leak, you’ll notice a significant rise in your monthly energy bills.

If you’ve recently seen a spike in your power or gas bill, you might have some form of HVAC damage on your hands. It could be damaged ductwork or it might be an inefficient furnace or AC unit — either way, you need to have the issue checked out promptly.

Mold in Your Ductwork

It’s not easy to see mold in your ductwork, but there’s a good chance you can smell it. If you notice a musty odor developing in your house, your ducts might be a culprit. To find out, grab a flashlight, a screwdriver, and a ladder (if necessary) and remove your vent covers. Shine your flashlight into the duct opening and look for signs of black or green residue — that’s mold.

If you notice your ducts are super dirty, your first course of action should be to schedule duct cleaning. If you can still smell a musty odor after your ducts are clean, chances are you need to replace the ductwork because it's deteriorated in areas you can’t see.

Think It’s Time for New Ductwork? Contact Steve’s Plumbing & Heating

If you suspect you have damaged ductwork in your Wisconsin Rapids home, get in touch with our team at Steve’s Plumbing & Heating right away. We can perform an inspection to locate areas of damage and replace the affected ductwork promptly. If all you need is duct cleaning, you’re in luck — we specialize in that, too!

To request an estimate or learn more about how we can help you, give us a call today at 715-421-1800 or send us a message, and we’ll be in touch.