For something so simple, ducts actually have a huge impact on the environment in your house. Those simple hallways, no more than shaped sheet metal, tubing, or cloth, have the power to affect not only your home’s climate, but the very quality of your air as well. Unfortunately, most ducts are installed quite poorly. Let’s explore some of the problems that result from poor duct design and installation.
Massive Energy Loss
The biggest problem with poor duct installation is that it tends to leave large holes in the duct. These are often the result of sections not being connected properly, or misaligned so that there are open areas for air to slip through. While a few leaks here and there may not seem like a big deal, they are actually quite problematic. According to the US Department of Energy, the average home forced air system loses up to 30% of its output to duct leaks. That means that nearly a third of your heater or air conditioner’s energy is being wasted every time you turn it on. You’re still paying for that 30% that goes to waste, resulting in much higher heating bills than you should be paying. All of this unnecessary cost is a direct result of poorly designed and installed ducts.
Decrease in Air Quality
Ducts aren’t just important for moving the air around your house; they help to keep your air clean, as well. The air inside the average home is infested with millions of microscopic pollutants like dust, germs, pollen, and pet dander. Ducts that are properly sealed are harder for these pollutants to infiltrate. Poorly installed ducts, however, serve as both a haven and transportation network for these particles. Moisture can also infiltrate ducts much more easily if they are misaligned, promoting mold growth that can be harmful to your air quality. The best way to ensure that your ducts, and therefore your air, remain as clean as possible is to have them installed correctly the first time.