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How To Identify Leaking Ductwork

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Your home's ductwork is an essential part of your home's central heating and cooling systems, and works to transport hot and cold air throughout your home. Ductwork that has become damaged and is leaking air will be less efficient at providing heating and cooling to the rest of your home, which can reduce the overall effectiveness of your HVAC system. Understanding the warning signs associated with leaking ductwork can help you identify the problem and contact a professional to have it fixed.

Increased Energy Bills

If you notice that your energy bills have increased, but you haven't changed the amount of use that you get out of your large appliances, your ductwork may be to blame. A leaking duct system can cause hot or cold air to be lost before it is actually blown out of your vents and into the interior of your home, which means that your air conditioner or furnace needs to work longer to provide the same temperature.

Difference in Air Flow

In a similar vein, if you notice that the air coming out of vents on one level of your home, or in a particular room, is blowing less strongly than the air coming out of the vents in the rest of your house, you likely have a leak in that specific section of ductwork. Alternatively, air flow can be blocked by a buildup of dust and other materials within your ducts, which is a similar issue that needs to be fixed by a professional anyway.

Uneven Heating and Cooling

Differences in air flow can be hard to notice during your day to day life, but differences in the heating or cooling levels of a certain room or area of your home are hard to miss. This can be caused by the fact that inadequate amounts of air is being pushed through your ductwork due, which can lead to drafts, cold spots, and all sorts of other issues that can reduce your comfort level within your home.


While the sound of the fan and the machinery within your central heating and cooling units is normal, any loud rattling or popping noises can point to damage within your ductwork. This can be caused by the fasteners that hold sections of your ducts together becoming loose over time, and is most often noticeable once your HVAC system turns on, though serious leaks can cause noises throughout the entire operation cycle.

For more about this topic, talk to a local HVAC technician.