Ductwork Obstructions: How They Impact the HVAC System of a Cincinnati Home

by Greg Leisgang on December 17, 2013

Posted in: Ductwork

Ductwork is meant to provide an efficient route for your HVAC system to distribute heated or cooled air from the furnace and air conditioner throughout the rest of the home. However, there are a number of different ductwork obstructions that can develop and cause the entire system to function inefficiently. 

In general, ductwork obstructions create problems for your HVAC system because they increase the resistance to airflow. When high resistance to airflow is present, the air handler has to work harder to provide high enough airflow rates, and if the resistance to airflow gets too high, the airflow rates may begin to drop. This will decrease the efficiency of your furnace and air conditioner and may cause other problems in the home due to less air circulation.

Not performing various maintenance tasks regularly can lead to ductwork obstructions. Replacing the air filter is the most common routine maintenance task. Over time, the filter gets clogged with dirt, which obstructs the airflow. The fan in the air handler also collects dirt over time, reducing its ability to move air. For this reason, an annual cleaning of the air handler fan is imperative. 

Other common obstructions include:

  • Dirty ducts - Over time, dirt and debris in the ductwork may build up to the point that they interfere with the airflow. In this situation, a duct cleaning may be necessary.
  • Blocked air registers - It's important to keep the location of vents, especially return grills, in mind when rearranging your home as putting furniture in front of them also obstructs airflow.
  • Damaged ductwork - Ductwork may become damaged and collapse over time or pieces of interior insulation may break off and partially obstruct the duct.
  • Stuck dampers - If you have a zoning system, the dampers can become stuck in a closed or partially closed position and cause problems for that area of the home.

If you need help with making sure your ductwork is in tip-top shape or for any other HVAC issues, please contact us at JonLe Heating & Cooling. We have years of experience helping homeowners throughout the greater Cincinnati area.

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