Complaints with furnace caused by leaky ductwork

My house in South Bend, Indiana, is heated and cooled by a forced air system.

We have a furnace and an air conditioner that utilize ductwork to transport the conditioned air.

While I’ve always been very conscientious about replacing air filters and scheduling seasonal maintenance for the heating and cooling units, I totally neglected the duct system. The supply and return ducts are largely concealed inside walls, behind ceilings and in the crawlspace. I forgot all about them. It wasn’t until I had some complaints with the performance of the furnace last winter, that I realized the importance of the ductwork. In South Bend, temperatures in the teens or even the negative digits aren’t unusual. We often run the furnace for more than half the year, and the cost of heating is significant. I noticed that my monthly heating bills were quite a bit higher than usual. The furnace seemed to be running non stop and yet the house felt slightly chilly. Certain rooms were downright cold. There was also significantly more dust and debris circulating in the air. When I called for repairs from a local HVAC contractor, the technician found nothing wrong with the furnace. He then tested the performance of the ductwork and discovered that nearly thirty percent of the heated air was escaping through holes and cracks at the seams. The leaks were causing the furnace to run longer, work harder and use more energy. Because the maximum amount of heated air was failing to reach the intended destination, there were issues with uneven comfort. Plus, those flaws in the ductwork were pulling in contaminants such as dust and fumes that were then getting spread throughout the home.



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