Did you know about 20% of the air in your home is lost due to leaks, holes or poor connections in your ductwork?1
Air ducts play a huge role in the cooling and heating of your Florida home, condo, townhome or duplex. And although many factors can contribute to high energy bills and inadequate comfort control, it’s often hard to pinpoint that HVAC ductwork is the source of the problem on your own.
Today, our Clearwater AC professionals at Air Care will help you understand how air ducts work, common problems and causes, and ways to save money and energy with the Duke Energy Duct Test & Repair Program. (Did we mention you could be eligible for a rebate?)
How Do HVAC Ducts Work?
Central HVAC systems are made up of several components:
- An outside unit
- An indoor air handler
- Pipes connecting your indoor and outdoor AC equipment
- Refrigerant (freon)
- A thermostat
- Air ducts
We like to think of air ducts as a series of roads and highways, getting your conditioned air where it needs to go with the support of a central HVAC system.
When you turn your HVAC system on, your indoor air handler pumps cooled or heated air into your home and simultaneously sucks air back in through your ductwork system and two types of air vents: supply and return.
Supply air vents deliver conditioned air to different rooms or areas inside your home. Return air vents, on the other hand, pull air back out of your room into the ductwork, returning it to your HVAC system to be conditioned.
When’s the last time you had your central HVAC system and ductwork checked to ensure its functioning properly? Contact Air Care to schedule a bi-annual tune-up, which includes a ductwork inspection.
In the meantime, be sure to keep your supply and return air vents open and unblocked, which could otherwise cause strain to your AC unit and unevenly condition the rooms throughout your home. Some homes in Florida have return air vents on the lower part of walls. So when you are arranging your furniture and belongings keep in mind that blocking the return air vent with furniture or other items will impair the efficiency of your AC system.
Common Signs Your Air Ducts Need Repair or Replacement or Relocation
When your energy bill is higher than it should be, and your home is not as comfortable as it could be, a common culprit can be leaks, holes or poor connections in your ductwork1.
Ask yourself the following questions to help identify the problem:
- Is one room cooler than others in the winter, or warmer than others in the summer?
- Is there poor air movement in your supply or return vents?
- Do certain rooms seem stuffy or uncomfortable?
- Are your air filters constantly dirty?
- Do you spend too much time dusting a particular room or area of the house?
- Do you notice excessive dirt or dust in your carpet corners or “spider webs” on your ceiling?
- Are there visible signs of leaks, disconnection or deterioration in your ductwork?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you may need your HVAC system ductwork inspected to ensure you’re not losing money or compromising comfort each month.
The best way to determine if your ductwork needs repair or replacement is to schedule an appointment with a good AC company. As part of our HVAC maintenance package, our Air Care technicians will examine your air ducts, check your supply vents and return vents, and recommend the best solution for your home.
Contact Air Care to save energy and money today.
Common Ductwork Problems and Causes in Florida Homes
Because you don’t see your HVAC system ductwork daily, it’s difficult to pinpoint the actual problem on your own. Below are some common causes and issues that can occur in your air ducts:
- Leaks: Depending on the age of your HVAC system and material of your ducts, vulnerable materials may become brittle over time, which can cause leaks and cracks in your ductwork.
- Holes: If your system continues to run without leaks detected, your ducts can become more susceptible to further cracks, holes or even extreme rusting. Sometimes rodents can even chew into softer duct systems.
- Poor connections: If your ductwork pieces don’t fit together tightly, heated or cooled air can escape into crawl spaces. Even worse, unattached sections can lead to significant energy loss.
- Crushed or dented pieces: Physical damage to your ducts can block air flow and cause strain to your larger HVAC system.
- Improper duct location: In some scenarios a return air vent may need to be relocated to allow the system to work properly. For example, a return air vent may need to be relocated out of a closet and into the main bedroom area to help better cool an “always warm” bedroom.
- Dirt, dust and debris: Air ducts often collect dirt, dust and debris over time, which can lead to irritated allergies or health issues if left unaddressed.
A properly sealed and connected duct system can lead to better comfort and energy savings and will improve the quality of air you breathe every day1. Contact Air Care to request a ductwork inspection today.
Save Money When You Repair AC Ducts
Finding and fixing air leaks in your ductwork is an easy, cost-effective home improvement that can help lower your bills and keep your home more comfortable year-round1.
If you live in Pinellas County, then you’re most likely a Duke Energy customer and can benefit from the Smart $aver program, which helps customers save AC ductwork repairs.
Duke Energy Duct Test & Repair Program
Our team at Air Care is an approved AC partner in the Duke Energy Duct Test & Repair Program, and our technicians are specially trained on the duct repair process. We can test your air conditioning system ductwork for leaks and can make any recommended repairs.
- Duke Energy offers a rebate of up to $40 toward the $80 Duct Test.
- Duke Energy offers a rebate of up to $30 toward the $60 Duct Test (for additional systems).
- Duke Energy offers a rebate of up to $200 toward the cost of duct repair (the average cost of duct repairs is $300*).
*Average costs for duct repair are based on actual work completed in Duke Energy’s service territory. They do not include system replacement and will vary according to home size and needed repairs1.
Please Note: If your home is in need of duct repair, you must first complete a free Duke Energy Home Energy Check, and then use one of Duke’s pre-qualified contractors in order to qualify for the rebate. (Air Care is a qualified and approved partner.) Please see the full list of prerequisites for each rebate program. This offer is for single-family homes. Visit Duke Energy’s website for more information.
Duct Repair Rebate Eligibility
To be eligible for the rebate1:
- You must be a Duke Energy residential electric service customer residing in a single-family home, condominium, townhome or duplex
- Your duct system must serve at least 1,000 square feet of air-conditioned space
- Your duct system must have reduced duct leakage by a minimum of 12%
Watch the video below to discover how Duke Energy’s Smart $aver rebate program can work for you:
*After our team finishes the ductwork repair, we will complete and submit the rebate form on your behalf, along with any required documentation. Once Duke Energy receives the form, they will send you the rebate in the mail, which typically takes 4-6 weeks1.
Your Clearwater AC Professionals
Our team at Air Care is always here to help customers with their HVAC system needs—from AC maintenance, repairs, system replacement to inspecting, sealing and installing new ductwork in your home.
Give us a call today to schedule an appointment. We proudly serve customers in Pinellas, southern Pasco and western Hillsborough counties.
“I wanted to thank you and your men for helping us with the duct work on our house. We’re convinced that getting that job done before the closing date was what sealed the deal for us. We were feeling very pressured, and your quick response helped us in many ways. We will use Air Care for all our future air conditioning needs, and we will recommend your company to our family and friends!” – Peter B.