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9 AC Duct Replacement Warning Signs

9 AC Duct Replacement Warning Signs

Various warning signs can mean it’s time for AC duct replacement. Don’t ignore an issue; up to 30% of the air in your ductwork can be lost due to holes, cracks, and loose connections.¹ Your AC will work harder to compensate, and the excess strain can cause equipment damage and breakdowns.

To avoid further problems, consult with an HVAC professional regarding AC duct replacement if you notice these warning signs:

1. Unexplained Reductions in Airflow

Did you accidentally block a vent with a new piece of furniture? Were a few registers closed in an unused room or without realizing it? These are issues that can be easily fixed. Otherwise, low airflow can mean your ductwork must be cleaned or repaired. It can also mean older ducts are in bad shape or were undersized to begin with.

2. Inconsistent Heating or Cooling

If parts of your home feel comfortable while others are too chilly or too warm, the cause may be in your air ducts. Changes in cooling performance can mean air ducts are obstructed. Simple solutions include replacing the filter or cleaning vent grilles. But if there are still temperature control issues and you haven’t added to or renovated your home, have a technician inspect your ductwork for issues or recommend AC duct replacement.

3. Dust and Debris

Increased dust in your home can be due to contaminated or leaking ducts. They’ll need to be replaced if the wear or damage is extensive. Over time, the problem can result in poor indoor air quality. Debris around vents is another warning sign; it can mean dirty air is being pushed in and out of the system.

4. Unpleasant Odors

Musty odors can mean mold is growing near a vent or deep within your air ducts. If a professional finds mold growth, they may recommend replacing the ductwork, as the problem may be too deep to clean effectively. Odors can also be a sign of a pest infestation; animals and insects can cause extensive damage to ducts. Or, a duct may be so damaged it’s allowing in fumes from outdoors or your gas line.

5. Allergies and Respiratory Symptoms

Sudden bouts of sneezing, coughing, and itchy, watery eyes can be due to excessive amounts of dust and pollen entering ducts. An increase in asthma attacks or respiratory infections can occur. No matter how well your AC filter is working, large holes in your ductwork can let in polluted outside air, which is filled with irritants and toxins.

6. Odd Noises

Call a contractor if your AC system begins to make loud noises. Strange noises can indicate a wide range of problems. If your ductwork is damaged, rattling or whistling sounds may come from gaps and holes or loose connections between duct segments. The sound of tiny footsteps means small animals have gotten inside.

7. Visible Damage

If you notice tears, holes, cracks, large dents, corrosion, and other signs of damage to exposed ducts, call for help immediately. A trained technician can tell if the problem can be sealed or patched. They can also suggest AC duct replacement to avoid future leaks and save on repair costs over time.

8. High Energy Bills

A steady increase in your monthly utility bill can be a warning sign to replace your AC ductwork. Over time, materials start to deteriorate and leaks form. Various materials, including dust, dirt, pests, pieces of old filters and insulation, or loose parts of ducts, can block ductwork and restrict airflow. Replacing old and worn ducts may be the only solution to avoid further damage.

9. Age of the System

Well-maintained ductwork can last 20 to 25 years. However, significant deterioration can occur after 15 years. A 10-year-old duct system can also develop problems. Schedule an inspection to determine its overall condition. Whether your ductwork is in disrepair or you’re considering AC replacement, installing new ducts can have many benefits.

Call Waldrop for AC Duct Replacement

Waldrop provides ductwork repair and replacement services in Greenville and Spartanburg Counties. Wear and tear eventually affect HVAC ducts. While preventative maintenance can protect them, air ducts don’t last forever. Replacing them can improve airflow and AC performance. If you notice any warning signs to consider AC duct replacement, our NATE-certified technicians can evaluate your system and make recommendations. Call (864) 536-0887 today.


  1. https://www.energystar.gov/saveathome/heating_cooling/duct_sealing
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