Do Your Ducts Need a Repair? 6 Signs to Look For.

Dusty air ducts

Unless you have a specially designed ductless system, your HVAC system uses ductwork to push conditioned air throughout your home. This network of ducts, registers and vents are essential for a cool and comfortable home. But, since ducts are located far out of view in the ceilings and attic, you may not realize when problems arise. Fortunately, there are signs when your ducts need to be repaired or replaced. Here are six to look for.

1. Noisy Air Conditioning

HVAC systems aren’t always quiet, but certain noises could be a sign that your ducts need some attention. Whistling noises can indicate that the ducting is under excessively high pressure which can indicate that the duct system is too small. This can occur if you replace an existing system with a larger capacity system without modifying the ductwork. Duct systems are engineered specifically based on an air conditioner’s capacity and have a direct relationship to that air conditioner’s performance and efficiency. Most often in the greater Phoenix area, undersized return ducts are the most common cause of high noise levels.

2. Skyrocketing Energy Bills

Whether it’s your first Arizona summer, or you’re a lifelong native, you probably know that summer cooling costs can be significant. But, if you suddenly find yourself paying a lot more, leaking ducts may be to blame. The typical home in Scottsdale leaks between 20% to 30% of the air that moves through the duct system from unsealed connections, holes, and improperly connected ducts. Of course, ducts aren’t the only things that can cause your energy bills to go from manageable to unreasonably high:

  • Dirty filters
  • Low thermostat settings
  • Refrigerant leaks
  • Failing motor, capacitor, or compressor
  • A short cycling oversized unit
  • An old or aging system
  • Infrequent maintenance

3. Uneven Cooling

Does one room in your home always feel uncomfortably warm? Do you find yourself constantly fiddling with the thermostat, trying to close the temperature gap between the rooms upstairs and the downstairs rooms? If so, faulty ducts may not be sending enough cool air throughout your home. There could be a leak in the ducts above your master bedroom, for example, leaving it warm and stuffy no matter how much you lower the thermostat.

You can verify a perceived difference in temperature with an indoor thermometer. Simply place the thermometer on or near your thermostat and wait for your air conditioner to complete a cooling cycle. If the reading on the thermometer doesn’t match the thermostat, your uneven cooling may be caused by a large duct leak.

4. Increase in Dust

Ductwork has a direct correlation with indoor air quality. If your home feels extra dusty, and all the cleaning in the world doesn’t seem to make a difference, your ducts may not be doing their job. If leaks or holes are present in the return air ducting, dust from the outdoors can enter your home and flow throughout the registers. Dust is a common irritant that can aggravate allergies, asthma, and other respiratory conditions.  Help your family breathe easy by having your ducts repaired and banish dust for good.

5. Old Ductwork

Nothing lasts forever—and ductwork is no exception. If your home is older, it may be time to upgrade your ductwork to newer and more efficient materials. A duct system’s functional life expectancy is 30-years while a typical air conditioner or heat pump in the Arizona desert climate is 15-years. Even if you’re not having problems currently, you don’t want to wait until major issues arise. Upgrading your ductwork can help you save money and energy, and ensure your home is able to stay cool and comfortable for years to come.


When you need your ducts repaired, don’t entrust this important job to just any company. After all, poorly installed or maintained ducts can create more problems down the line. At Larson, we know ductwork design directly influences HVAC performance and other installation factors like these:

  • Equipment sizing
  • Unit efficiency
  • Equipment malfunctions
  • Envelope infiltration
  • Operating costs
  • Indoor air quality
  • Noise levels
  • Occupant comfort
  • Owner satisfaction with the system

With so much on the line, trust Larson for reliable duct services that are sure to leave you satisfied. Our expert technicians provide the following duct services:

Expert duct design

Properly sized and designed ducts are essential for a well working HVAC system. Air duct design requires the expertise of specially drained technicians, which is why our NATE-certified team uses their knowledge to calculate your home’s recommended duct size and register placement. With the help of Manual D calculation, we determine optimal duct layout and sizing with your home in mind for repairs and replacements.

Duct leakage testing

Energy Star estimates that 20-30 percent of conditioned air is lost through cracks, leaks and poorly sealed joints in ductwork. That energy loss can add up quickly, causing an increase in energy bills. Our technicians can test your existing ducts for leaks and recommend repair, sealing, or replacement if necessary.

High-flow register and grille installation

High-flow return grilles are more aerodynamic and produce less static pressure than older models. This increases airflow, making your home more comfortable while using less energy and making less noise.

Return air additions

Very often, incorporating additional air return vents is the best course of action for home comfort and efficiency. Many HVAC systems have undersized return air ducts, which lowers cooling efficiency. Adding a return air duct increases overall airflow volume and prevents air from becoming “bottlenecked” in your ductwork.


When cooled air escapes through faulty ducts, energy (and money) escape with it. Our duct repair and replacement services can help you save energy and spend less on your monthly cooling costs. With our help, your home will feel cool, refreshing and balanced. Call (480) 428-0600 or schedule online to book an appointment with our expert technicians.

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