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A-Avis Home Services Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. Blog

Central Air Conditioning Problems Can Involve Ducts


Our central air conditioning systems are an absolute necessity in the Inland Empire over the summer, when temperatures often climb to triple digits and beyond. When problems arise, they need to get taken care of promptly, and now is the time to keep an eye out for them.

After months of steady work, your air conditioner may be feeling the pressure, and breakdowns and other problems are not uncommon. This can extend to other parts of the system as well as the air conditioning unit itself. In particular, your ducts, which carry conditioned air from both the AC and the furnace, can suffer damage during the course of the summer. As with any other AC issue, you want to get those problems resolved as quickly as possible.

Breaches and Clogs

Problems with the ducts in your system usually boil down to one of two general categories:

  • Clogs involve blockages in the ducts, usually because some material has built up or a filter has become clogged. Sometimes it can involve damage to the ducts like crimps.
  • Breaches involve an opening in the sides of the ducts, which can be caused by inadvertent damage, by animals such as possums in your crawlspace, or sometimes by bolts or other connectors between two sections of ducts becoming loose.

Either way, they can be extremely damaging to your system. In the case of clogs, they slow down the flow of air through your ducts, forcing your system to work harder to do its job and raising the cost of running your central air conditioner in the process. In some cases, they can cause even more damaging because they force the cool air your system generates to stay put instead of moving through your home. That can cause ice to form on the coils, which disrupts the cooling process, and may even result in a breakdown.

With breaches, the problems are similar. An opening will either pull conditioned air out of the system or pull unconditioned air in. Either way, the effects are the same: the system again must work harder to do its job, elevating both the monthly cost of running it and the strain on other components (which have likely been under strain already from months of use).

Spotting Them

In most cases, problems with your ducts require a little detective work to puzzle out, since they’re hidden behind your walls or in your attic where the damage can’t readily be seen. Common symptoms can be spotted for those who know what to look for, however. They can include:

  • Low air flow coming out of one or more ducts.
  • Warmer air than you were expecting coming out of your ducts.
  • Cold spots appearing on the walls of your home.
  • Strange noises like hums or whistles coming from the walls or ceiling. In most cases, they will start and stop with the starting and the stopping of the air conditioner.

When you spot these signs, turn off the air conditioning system and call Avis Plumbing-Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. We perform central air conditioning repairs throughout the Riverside, CA area!

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