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When it comes to commercial HVAC system repair or maintenance, air ducts are usually the last thing on anyone’s mind. However, air ducts are a vital component of your commercial ventilation system. Without them, your HVAC unit would be unable to transport air from room to room throughout your building.

Although they are frequently overlooked, your air ducts require attention, maintenance, repairs, and even replacement from time to time. But how do you know when you need to replace your air ducts?

In this article, we will discuss the critical role your air ducts play in your commercial HVAC system and four of the most common indicators to look for that may show the need for professional air duct replacement.

If you’re unsure whether your air ducts need replacement, continue reading below to learn more about what to look for and discover how Design Mechanical’s commercial HVAC specialists can help ensure your HVAC system is running as expected.

Why Is Ductwork Important to Your Commercial HVAC System?

The often-overlooked ductwork within your commercial HVAC system is equally important as the HVAC unit itself. The ductwork is a network of large pipes that run through the ceilings of your commercial building and distribute air from your heating and cooling system throughout your facility. Simply put, your HVAC system is the heart of your building, and the air ducts are like the blood vessels, transporting clean air throughout each room in your facility.

While it’s no surprise that your HVAC system will eventually require repairs over time, inefficiencies within the ductwork lead to other problems. This results in inefficient air distribution, poor indoor air quality, and decreased performance and can lead to significantly higher monthly utility bills.

4 Signs Your Air Ducts May Need a Replacement

Although ductwork is designed to last between 10 to 25 years if properly installed and maintained regularly, knowing what potential problems to look for can help you avoid more expensive repairs in the future. While some signs may seem obvious, several other indications can go unnoticed.

Here are the four most common indicators of whether your commercial ducts need to be replaced.

Unexpected Increase in Monthly Energy Bills

As previously mentioned, one of the most common indicators that your air ducts may need to be replaced is a sudden and significant increase in your monthly utility bills. While some air is expected to escape from your ductwork, your monthly energy bill will quickly reflect this if 20% or more of the air in the HVAC system is lost.

This is due to your commercial HVAC system overcompensating for the lost air and working harder to keep your building at a comfortable temperature. Having the air ducts replaced ensures that all the air needed to cool or heat your facility gets to where it needs to go without your HVAC unit working overtime.

Inconsistent Heating or Cooling

Another common indicator that your system’s air ducts need to be replaced is if you notice a variation in temperatures from room to room throughout your facility. In some instances, this may indicate a blockage within the air ducts, but it can also be a sign that they are damaged or ruptured.

Commercial air ducts are carefully designed and strategically placed to ensure that your HVAC unit is fully utilized and should have no trouble maintaining the same temperature in every room of your building. However, if your air ducts cannot deliver sufficient air throughout your facility, contacting a professional HVAC repair company to inspect them can help determine if they should be replaced.

The Smell of Mold and Mildew

Dust and dirt buildup from years of use can lead to a musty odor emanating from your air ducts. However, some unpleasant odors may indicate the presence of foreign debris in your ductwork.

Mold is a severe problem, especially if it enters your ductwork. When this occurs, mold spores and foul odors spread throughout your building every time your HVAC system turns on, causing a slew of problems ranging from severe allergies to potentially fatal health complications. If your HVAC system emits a strange smell and you suspect mold in your ducts, contact a professional HVAC specialist at your earliest convenience.

Loud Noises When Operating

When debris in your air ducts or significant damage has occurred, your HVAC system will often make loud whistling sounds due to the constricted air ducts. Your air ducts cannot accommodate the volume of air your HVAC unit is attempting to circulate through them.

If left unchecked, poor airflow can damage your HVAC system and cause several other internal problems. As a result, hiring an HVAC service specialist to inspect your system is highly recommended to help determine whether air duct replacement is required.

Contact the HVAC Service Specialists at Design Mechanical Today

Because of the hidden nature of air ducts, it’s common for this vital component of a commercial HVAC system to fall into disrepair without anyone noticing. However, if you have reason to believe that your air ducts have become dilapidated or are showing indications of the common signs provided in this article, contacting an experienced HVAC professional to inspect your ductwork can help resolve any issues you may be experiencing and prevent more costly repairs.

At Design Mechanical, we understand how vital your HVAC system is to the daily operations and overall success of your business.

With over 20 years of experience in commercial HVAC services and a staff of over 100 qualified service specialists, you can be confident that our services will keep your HVAC system running smoothly. We’re proud to be the number one choice for businesses in Kansas City and the surrounding areas looking for high-quality HVAC services available 24/7, and we can’t wait to learn more about how we can assist you.

If any of the problems listed above sound familiar, or you want to stay on top of your HVAC maintenance, contact the professional HVAC technicians at Design Mechanical today to schedule a free consultation.