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Are Your Ducts Leaking?


Central heating and air conditioning systems depend upon a system of ducts to do their jobs. The central units cool the air in the summer, then blow it through the ducts to the various rooms in your home. The ducts are usually located behind the walls, in our attic, and other out-of-the-way locations which allow them to do their jobs without getting in the way of your household. But that can make it difficult to spot when leaks or other issues crop up. The good news is that air conditioning technicians can address the problem of leaking ducts quickly and efficiently. But before they can do that, you need to be able to spot the signs that something is wrong.

How Do Ducts Develop Leaks?

Ducts can develop leaks from overt damage, which can come from a number of sources, Work on another part of the house, for instance, can inadvertently damage the ducts if the workers aren’t paying attention, and animals like squirrels and racoons can crawl into your attic and scratch up the ducts as well. Oftentimes, however, ducts develop leaks simply because of wear and tear. For instance, if a bolt holding two pieces of ductwork wears out, a leak will usually form by default.

Why Are Leaking Ducts a Problem?

Leaking ducts are a problem because they reduce the efficiency of your air conditioner. The leak will either pull conditioned air out of the ducts or pull unconditioned air in. Either way, this has two detrimental effects:

  1. It warms the temperature of the air (or cools it, in the winter).
  2. It reduces airflow through the ducts.

Both of them conspire to rob your system of energy: forcing it to work harder than it should to do its job, raising both your monthly bills and the possibility of a more serious breakdown. If the issue isn’t treated, it could turn a very simple repair job into something much more complicated and expensive.

How to Spot the Problem

The problem with duct leaks is that they’re not overtly apparent to the naked eye, which can cause the situation to continue for weeks or even months before being treated, which adds a huge amount of strain to your system. Luckily, there are ways to spot the problem if you know what to look for. Signs of Leaks in your ducts can include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Cold spots on the walls or ceiling, where leaking air from the ducts is blowing.
  • Strange noises like whistles or hums coming from air escaping the leak. In most cases, the noises will start and stop with the starting and stopping of the air conditioner.
  • Reduced air flow coming from the affected ducts, which lowers the air conditioning efficiency.
  • Warmer air coming from the affected ducts as unconditioned air is pulled in from the leaks.
  • Higher bills caused by the loss of efficiency generated by the duct leak.

If you’re having problems with the ducts in your Reading, MA home, call the friendly pros at Cooling Unlimited, Inc. today!

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