Air conditioner ducts supply conditioned air (heated or cooled) around the house. They also collect unconditioned air from different rooms and channel it back to the air conditioner. The ducts are usually made of hollow sheet metal, which may puncture and leak air. Here are four ways in which leaky ducts affect an air conditioner's efficiency:
High Energy Bills
Air conditioner ducts control the flow of air throughout the house. This means some ducts collect unconditioned air from different rooms and channel them to the unit for conditioning while others distribute controlled air throughout the house. If the ducts distributing conditioned air leak, they waste resources since the unit will require more energy to condition more air.
Reduced Air Quality
Apart from raising your energy bills, leaky ducts can also affect your indoor air quality in several ways. For example, leaky ducts can suck in small dust particles or debris and distribute them around your home. Another example is when the leaks cause negative air pressure, which leads to accumulation of stale air (for example, air fouled by combustion appliances, such as water heaters and clothing dryers) inside the house. In both cases, you will be breathing foul air, even though you have an air conditioner running.
Uneven Heating and Cooling
Ideally, when your ductworks are intact, your air conditioner should result in uniform temperatures across all your rooms. This may not be the case if some ducts are leaky while others are working fine. The rooms with intact ducts will have different temperatures from the ones with damaged ducts. As a result, it may not be comfortable to stay in any of the rooms; some may be too cold for comfort while others may be too hot.
All air conditioners require regular maintenance for efficient operations, but you should be worried if your unit requires too frequent repairs. Leaky ducts can lead to frequent breakdowns in two main ways. First, the leakage of conditioned air means your unit has to work extra hard to maintain your home's temperature at the required levels. This overworks its different parts and leads to frequent breakdowns. Secondly, the debris that is sucked up clogs the filter and necessitates frequent replacements.
Considering all these issues, it's clear that you should never let your air conditioner operate with leaky ducts. If you suspect this is happening, contact a technician, such as Reardon Refrigeration, to locate the source of the leaks and plug them as soon as possible. That way you will be reducing your home's expenses and taking care of your health too.
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