While many home comfort issues are related to problems with mechanical heating and cooling equipment, your ducts can also affect your indoor environment. Poor airflow is a potential indicator of many common duct problems. Obstructed ductwork can be difficult to detect, and you may need the help of your HVAC contractor to pinpoint and resolve the issue.

Why Obstructed Ductwork Can Be Difficult to Detect

Because your ducts aren’t in full view, it’s tough to know what their condition is. It’s even harder to know what the interior condition of your ducts may be. Obstructions can occur in many forms, including:

  • Foreign materials – a lost sock or a hidden toy can lead to limited airflow in parts of your home. If you notice airflow issues only in one or two locations, you are probably dealing with such a blockage. You may be able to retrieve the lost item by hand, but you’ll need assistance if it has moved too far into the system.
  • Dirt and debris – if you’ve never had your ducts cleaned, you may have restrictions in your airflow due to excessive dirt buildup. You may notice poor air pressure in all parts of the house if this is the case, duct cleaning could resolve the problem.
  • Crushed ductwork – some duct materials are soft enough that they could be crushed, leading to a blockage of airflow. Flex is the most likely material to experience this condition, but other duct materials could be damaged under unusual circumstances as well. You may notice a lack of airflow in one or more areas of your home, but it may be tough to distinguish the source of the blockage without a professional inspection.
  • Dead rodents – while the thought is unpleasant, the reality is that if a rodent can chew into your ducts, it can also die there. In such a case, poor airflow may be accompanied by a foul odor. You will probably need the assistance of your HVAC contractor to remove the blockage and repair your ducts.

Regular Services that Can Head Off Duct Blockages

In order to keep your heating and cooling system operating optimally, pre-season system maintenance is recommended. During this time, some issues that can affect airflow can be addressed in the mechanical components of your system. Coil cleaning, for example, can result in improved air movement through your ducts. Regular filter changes are also important to avoid unnecessary restrictions in airflow.

Knowing that these issues have been addressed will allow you to more quickly recognize that poor air movement is probably a matter of duct blockages or problems. Your technician may evaluate your ducts briefly during a regular maintenance visit, recommending sealing or cleaning services as needed. If you sense that your ducts may be blocked, however, you can contact the team at Gentry Heating, Inc., to inspect your ductwork. Our Asheville, NC office can schedule your appointment when you call.