AC ducts in the attic can be very challenging to install and take care of. If your ducts are not in good condition, ac repair services are needed sooner than later.
If your HVAC ducts are neglected, they will show in the air quality your air conditioner gives you. It will also show in the increased heating and cooling bills you will receive.
It is no secret that maintaining the attic ductwork is challenging. This is why many people end up neglecting them.
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The attic is not usually the ideal place to install your duct system. However, sometimes, there is no option.
If your home has attic ductwork, extra maintenance is needed for good indoor air and to prevent future problems.
Read on for best tips on how to maintain attic HVAC ductwork.
AC Ducts in Attic: Why Attic Ductwork Needs More Maintenance
All HVAC system ductwork needs periodic maintenance and cleaning. However, if you have air ducts in your attic, you need to keep a keener eye, and we discuss the reasons below.
Attics Experience Extreme Temperatures
Many people do not frequent the attic as much. This way, you may be unaware of how hot the little space gets. The attic temperature can surpass the outside temperature by even 50 degrees!
You are probably wondering how the hot attic temperatures affect the HVAC system and air ducts…
The hot attic air can warm the air traveling throughout your house. This typically happens when you have leaky or poorly insulated HVAC ducts.
With leaky air ducts, your system will lose cold air to the surrounding space in the attics.
Regular maintenance allows you to spot these issues on time and fix them.
If these issues are not fixed, your home’s comfort levels will deteriorate. Your electricity bills will also multiply.
Call for heating system repair as soon as you notice signs of duct leaks.
Mold Is a Major Concern in Attic Ductwork
Mold is something to worry about in all HVAC ducts, furnaces or air conditioners. However, the situation is worse in attic ducts because as heat rises from the house to the attic, it takes with it some moisture.
With proper ventilation, this usually is not a problem.
However, the rising condensation can accumulate quickly, creating a thriving environment for mold. If you do not check your attic ducts regularly, the molds will propagate and find their way into your indoor air.
The first step towards solving the mold issue is ensuring the ducts are well sealed and insulated. This will ensure the duct’s exterior temperature is not far from the ambient temperature.
With a low-temperature difference, it becomes easy to naturally keep mold out of your attic ducts.
However, if mold is already growing in there, you will need to get professional AC duct cleaning first. Feel free to contact HVAC Santa Clarita for ductwork cleaning and sealing services.
Extra insulation is needed for Attic Duct System
Proper insulation is vital in the functioning of an HVAC duct system.
You can always add insulation to your duct network to boost its functioning.
Many homeowners like to get spray foam insulation, which is still a great way out. However, before getting AC duct insulation, you want to ensure there are no leaks.
The leaks are often so minute you cannot spot them with bare eyes. They may be this small, but their impact is so huge. Have a professional check whether your duct system has cracks, gaps or leaks.
You can use fiberglass insulation or spray foam insulation to insulate them.
Attic Ductwork Need Frequent Inspection
You need to check if there is any physical damage in your HVAC ducts passing through the attic floor or ceiling.
Always check that there is no mold growing in the system. Mold growing in your ductwork will eventually find its way into your air conditioner. This can result in serious health issues.
Attic Ducts Services
By now, it is clear that your AC ducts in the attic need more specialized attention.
Professionals perform attic ductwork better; you will understand it better by looking at the attic’s duct network. The place is typically dark, dusty and dingy. The duct network may be confusing and, therefore, challenging to handle for non-professionals.
It is also tricky for non-professionals to detect and resolve issues such as leaks and improper insulation.
Do not ignore your attic ductwork just because of the complications that come with accessing it. Here are some services HVAC Santa Clarita offers to ensure your attic ducts are in their optimal performance.
AC Duct Cleaning
Many homeowners do not even know that AC duct cleaning is a thing!
Duct cleaning is necessary if you want top-notch air quality in your house.
The thing, however, is that you cannot see inside the HVAC ducts. Therefore, it is difficult to see whether they are dirty. This is why we recommend you have them cleaned after a specific period, say once every two years.
There is a lot of dirt that accumulates in the HVAC AC ducts. Think of all the dust, pet dander, pollen, pet hair and other pollutants
If you do not clean your duct system as needed, the contaminants, dirt and bacteria will soon find their way into your HVAC unit and eventually into your air.
It is time to schedule a professional attic duct cleaning if you have not done so in two years or more.
Duct Sealing System
Many worry about the rest of their HVAC equipment, not their duct system.
One of the most common issues with HVAC equipment, not just the ducts, is leakage.
Duct leakages typically happen when:
- The joints are not sealed well.,
- the connections deteriorate over time,
- they are damaged by the equipment you store in your attic.
One of the most efficient ways of repairing duct leaks is using Aeroseal. This procedure tackles leakages from the inside to the outside of the duct. If the air supply is not as much as before, or if the cooling is slower, you probably have a duct leak.
Another sign to watch for is increased energy bills.
Have a professional on-site to perform an inspection. If they find leaks, they will seal them to prevent conditioned air from escaping.
After the duct sealing, they need to ensure that there are no leaks by performing a finishing inspection.
Attic Duct System Repairs
If your air conditioner has issues, problems are likely coming from malfunctioning ductwork.
With defective ductwork, you can experience all sorts of issues, from poor air quality slower cooling speed and even increased energy bills.
We recommend that you have an annual checkup of your ductwork. Some AC duct problems may arise from poor design and installation. However, many times, the issue comes in after use, and wear and tear,
Some of the common attic duct issues that call for urgent repairs include:
- poorly sealed grills and registers,
- air leaks,
- poorly insulated ducts,
- kinks, twists and obstructions interrupting airflow, especially if you have a flex duct,
- dirt accumulation,
- poor designs.
Contact us today for attic duct repairs. We will inspect the damage, professionally fix it and re-inspect it to ensure all is perfectly functioning.
For higher energy insulation, you may need to have attic insulation. Insulation is also an excellent way to improve your indoor air quality.
If your attic is insulated correctly, you can lower your heating and cooling costs by up 30%to an incredible 30%.
There are several attic insulations you can have in your unconditioned attic. Contact us for specific considerations on determining which attic insulation suits your attic space and budget.
AC Duct Replacement
It is natural that after years of use, your attic ductwork will have wear and tear. Typically, many homeowners go for AC duct repair.
However, sometimes, the damage is just beyond repair; the only way out is air duct replacement.
If you are unsure of what you are doing, you are safe having a professional HVAC technician do the job.
Remember that duct installation starts with duct design. For proper airflow and heat transfer, the duct size has to be well-calculated. Do not gamble, as the installation will determine how effectively the system works.
AC Ducts in Attic Frequently Asked Questions
The stress of attending to supply ducts in the attic makes it difficult for homeowners to inspect and maintain them. It also makes many others think twice before installing ducts in the attic, even if it is the only option left.
We, therefore, answer some FAQs on the same below, hoping to help you manage the system better.
Can you run HVAC ducts in the attic?
The ideal space for ductwork in a house is inside the thermal boundary. An unconditioned attic is not the ideal place, but it still works if well installed and managed.5
Many homeowners do not have the choice but to go with unconditioned attics. This will work well if you are very vigilant with maintenance.
Why is my AC in the attic?
If you are wondering why the ducts or the air conditioner are installed in the attic, it is probably because there wasn’t much option.
However, another common reason is that it is cheaper this way. The HVAC tech does not have to fix the attic ceiling ducts. They can leave them hanging loose on the attic floor. It is much more straightforward than winding the ductwork across walls and floors.
How long does ductwork last in the attic?
Depending on how you maintain them, the ducts in the attic typically last 10-15 years(1). They may work beyond 15 years, but it will not just be worth it. The wear and tear will make the air conditioning process less energy efficient. You will also be caught in an annoying cycle of air duct repairs.
Is it better to have ductwork in the attic or crawl space?
Many times, the attic is unconditioned. Having ductwork in an unconditioned space is generally not a good idea. If you have the option, you are better off having them in a conditioned basement, crawlspace, enclosed soffits close to the ceiling, and open spaces in floor trusses. These options are best explored when building a house.
The attic should be the last option to consider. However, you can still make the attic work if there is no way out.
Remember that the crawl space, too, has some drawbacks, such as limited access. Despite this, it remains a better option than an unconditioned attic.
How do you seal attic air ducts?
Follow these steps to seal air ducts in an unconditioned attic space:
- Trace where the air leaks are from by inspecting the ducts. The inspection will only be successful when the air conditioner is on.
- Secure any loosely hanging ducts on the attic floor. Use zip ties to ensure they are well secured.
- Now get to the air sealing. Apply enough sealant mastic on the source of leaks.
- Allow the sealant to dry. The holes or gaps should be eliminated once the sealant is dry.
How do I stop condensation in my attic ducts?
One solution to prevent attic sweating is upgrading your attic insulation and ventilation. Contact your local HVAC technician to choose insulation with the proper R-value. The higher the R-value you choose, the more blockage of outside air will infiltrate into the attic.
Final Thoughts on AC Ducts in Attic
We are calling it wraps now. AC ducts in the attic are not always the to-go option. However, sometimes, it is the only way out. It can be challenging to detect problems and maintain the air ducts in the attic.
This is why you should have annual checkups to ensure your ductwork is not having problems. The ductwork services are not typically DIY. The most DIY-friendly would be duct sealing using a sealant mastic. But still, many people do not ace it.
If you have an attic, you should read about
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