Proper ductwork installation, and the use of the right equipment, can have a significant impact on the quality of your home life, as well as energy costs. This is particularly true in the varying climate of Fairfield County towns like Greenwich, Westport, New Canaan, and Darien. If your home builder doesn’t take the time to understand the conditions, materials, and potential issues involved with duct work installation, the result can be a home that’s too cold in the winter, too hot in the summer, or that allows dangerous mold or carbon monoxide into your living spaces.


If you’re planning to undergo a renovation or addition, this is a great opportunity to address any issues with your home’s ductwork. But even if you’re not, having a qualified contractor assess your system is a smart move. Correcting ductwork issues can lower energy bills, make your home more comfortable, and prevent potential health problems caused by faulty installation or materials. Here are five common issues and how to solve them.

Degraded Energy Efficiency
The warm or cool air from your central HVAC passes through a system of ductwork before being delivered into the living spaces. As the air travels, it can lose heat in the winter or gain heat in the summer. This can make a measurable difference in your home’s energy efficiency. Solutions can include properly insulating and/or sealing the air ducts. A home renovation or new home build is also a great time to introduce the latest methods and materials.

Unsound Connections
Because ductwork sometimes takes a complex route from the HVAC units to each room, various turning connections are required. Over time, these connections can become loose or improperly aligned. When this happens, air that should be heating or cooling your house leaks out and escapes. Abrupt, unexpected increases in energy bills may indicate loose ductwork connections. The solution is to repair or replace them.

Fuel-fired water heaters and furnaces exhaust combustion byproducts to the outside through a flue. The byproducts rise and exit the living space because they’re less dense than indoor air. Leaky ductwork, however, can cause an improper pressure differential that allows backdrafting. This is where gases, such as carbon monoxide, are able to circulate throughout the home. Having a carbon monoxide detector is essential for detecting hazards early, and sealing leaky ductwork helps you minimize the risk of dangerous backdrafting.

Airflow Interruption
Just as a corroded water pipe eventually restricts water flow, ductwork that collects dust and debris, or that becomes kinked at some point, will restrict airflow. This makes your heating and air conditioning system work extra hard and can lead to system breakdowns as well as high energy bills. You can prevent this by allowing only qualified contractors to install ductwork, and by having your home builder inspect your ductwork whenever you plan additions or renovations.

Condensation forms on the outside of ducts when warm, humid air meets a cool surface. If the air is humid, and if you don’t have proper insulation on your ductwork, condensation is a real risk. In a worst-case scenario, harmful mold can build up on ducts, in the attic, and on ceilings, which is both unsightly and dangerous to your health. Modern ducting has a built-in vapor barrier and insulates adequately so that condensation is far less likely to occur. A dehumidifier for your attic or crawl space is another way to prevent condensation.

There are far more exciting things to think about when building a custom home or renovation, but ductwork is an important feature of the house behind the scenes. The proper system can help make things more comfortable, and help ensure your home is energy efficient. As a result, it’s in your best interest to hire a builder willing to put in the extra effort to install your system properly with the right materials.