Custom Ductwork in Manassas, VA
Few experts would argue about the importance of having effective, properly sized home heating and cooling units. That said, a lot of attention is given to furnaces and air conditioners, but these machines would be useless without proper ductwork to route the treated air throughout the home. So, what’s the best solution? Hire a specialist to design and install custom ductwork.
Strategic Ductwork Designs
The primary benefit of designing a custom duct system is that it will move air throughout the home as efficiently as possible. This approach helps to avoid three common problems:
- Ducts that are too long place unnecessary strain on the furnace and air conditioning unit, increasing wear and reducing longevity.
- Improperly sized ducts may not be able to handle the load created by the furnace and AC.
- Insufficient return ducts for bringing air back to the HVAC unit will make it difficult to maintain consistent temperatures throughout the home.
An expert designer will take all of these factors into account before installing new ductwork. He or she will use information such as the size of the AC unit and furnace, the home’s footprint, and its height to get an accurate idea of what system will best fulfill its needs.
Not all common ductwork problems occur due to poor design. Proper Duct installation is just as crucial as sizing the system correctly. To move air efficiently throughout the home, the ducts must be sealed. Improperly sealed ductwork will leak air into unused portions of the home like crawlspaces, leading to decreased energy efficiency and increased monthly heating and cooling bills.
When to Replace Old Ducts
The easiest way to tell if it’s time to replace aging ductwork is to schedule an inspection with one of Trivett Mechanical technicians. An expert will arrive at the home to evaluate the current system, look for signs of air leaks and other problems, and recommend repairs or a full duct replacement depending on what he or she finds. Here are a few of the things ductwork contractors look for while performing inspections:
The Age of the System
If the home is more than a few decades old, chances are, its ductwork needs to be replaced. Just like other systems, ductwork eventually wears down over time, making it more susceptible to cracks and other problems. To make matters even worse, contractors often choose inexpensive designs and construction materials for initial ductwork installation. These systems can only be expected to last around ten years before major problems start to arise.
Presence of Asbestos
Older homes may have air ducts that were constructed using asbestos-containing materials. To today’s homeowners, that sounds outrageous. However, for a few decades in the middle of the last century, it was standard practice to use asbestos in manufacturing flexible duct connectors. Given what people know now about the potentially devastating health consequences of asbestos exposure, the importance of replacing those aging ducts cannot be overstated.
Minor cracks in newer ductwork can usually be sealed. However, severe cracks or multiple instances of damage are best remedied by replacing the system. Duct sealing is a temporary measure while designing and installing new ductwork will provide a permanent solution to the problem.
Constant Mold Problems
Poorly designed ductwork can create a perfect breeding ground for mold. The humidity tends to be high in these minimally ventilated ducts, and there’s no light to hold growing mold colonies at bay. While a professional cleaning will remove mold colonies and spores, it won’t prevent them from growing back. Ask an HVAC contractor if it would be more cost-efficient to replace the system with redesigned ductwork that minimizes humidity.
The Importance of Regular Duct Cleaning
Once the new ductwork has been installed, it’s time for homeowners to develop a maintenance schedule. That schedule should include not just periodic inspections to identify cracks, loose connections, and blockages, but also periodic air duct cleaning to removing airborne contaminants like bacteria, mold, pollen, dander, and dust.
The benefits of regular duct cleaning are twofold. First, removing debris trapped in the HVAC system’s ductwork will improve indoor air quality and protect residents’ health. Second, it will also improve the efficiency of the HVAC system, helping to save homeowners money on their heating and cooling bills.
Call for a Consultation Today
Whether homeowners need full custom ductwork installations or just a few repairs, they can trust Trivett Mechanical Inc. to help. Trivett Mechanical also provides a wide range of heating and cooling services. Browse the website to learn more or call (703) 335-5407 to schedule duct or HVAC Services.