Holes in ductwork cause comfort and air quality complaints

Living in Chicago means dealing with extreme weather just about year round.

  • We experience sub zero temperatures, vicious wind chill and feet of snow during the winter.

In the summer, temperature climbs into the upper eighties or even the nineties with brutal humidity. The cost of indoor temperature control significantly impacts the budget. I take very good care of the furnace and the air conditioner. I’ve enrolled in a maintenance plan that includes two service calls per year. A licensed HVAC technician handles the essential inspection, cleaning and tuning of the heating system in the fall. He does the same for the cooling system in the spring. I make sure to replace air filters every six to eight weeks. Because of this diligence, I expect both systems to operate reliably. I was not pleased when I had some problems with the air conditioner last summer. I noticed a great deal of dust circulating in our breathing air and a musty odor coming from the supply vents. The cooling unit seemed to be running for longer cycles and struggling to keep the home nice and cool. Certain rooms felt slightly overheated and sticky. Every time the air conditioner cycled on, I’d start sneezing and suffer from frequent headaches. I finally scheduled air conditioner repairs. The technician first checked out the indoor and outdoor components of the cooling unit but found no concerns. When he tested the ductwork, he found that small imperfections were allowing approximately twenty percent of the conditioned air to leak out. These same holes were drawing in unconditioned air and introducing contaminants into the living space. A duct sealing process solved the difficulties with operation.

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