Duct leaks are one of the most significant sources of energy inefficiency in the home--yet many people remain unaware of the particular nature of the problem. Unfortunately, this often leads not only to elevated heating and cooling costs, but also to the need for more frequent HVAC repairs. If you would like to learn more about how duct leaks compromise your bottom line, read on. Here are four problems caused by duct leaks.
Higher Energy Bills
As noted above, the most immediate effect of a duct leak is to increase your heating and cooling expenses. That's because such leaks allow the conditioned air flowing through your ducts to escape into parts of the home where it simply shouldn't be. As a result, your HVAC system must spend more time running in order to accomplish a given heating or cooling task. And, in every single case, a longer run time equals a higher bill.
More Frequent Breakdowns
Higher bills aren't the only side-effect of a system that is forced to run for longer periods of time. That extra run time also increases the wear and tear on your furnace and/or air conditioner. Running for extended periods of time also generates more internal heat and friction, both of which contribute to weakening delicate internal components. Even if your HVAC system is relatively new, duct leaks can lead to the need for frequent and frequently expensive repairs.
Poor Air Quality
Duct leaks don't just allow air to escape from inside of the duct; they also allow air to get in. This air often contains large amounts of dust and other contaminants. That's because pretty much all ducts move through parts of the house that don't get vacuumed or cleaned: attics, crawlspaces, wall voids, etc. As this debris infiltrates your duct system, it is circulated throughout your home, where it can contribute to issues such as asthma and allergies.
Air Filter Clogs
Another side-effect of all that dust and debris getting into your ducts is that it will clog up your HVAC air filter much more quickly. That means you'll have to install new filters on a much more frequent basis--an added expense that nobody looks forward to. Even worse things can happen to those who fail to change their air filter frequently enough. Once a filter has become excessively clogged, it will lead not only to dirtier air, but it will also force your system to work harder to push air through the impeded filter.
For more information, talk to a professional like Seliga Heating and Cooling.