I opened the attic access and there was a warm air coming down.
With the cost of energy increasing during the winter months, it’s important to have a ventilation system that is functioning at its best. Any ducts that are blocked or separated can be a real cost to the owners or tenants. That’s what I came across today.
When I climbed the ladder and opened the access cover there was a warm flow of air coming right at me. This was strange considering it was winter and the unit had the heater on; I would have thought that it would have been warmer inside the unit rather than up in the attic space.
Once I got up in the attic and turned on my flashlight, the mystery was solved. The duct to the bathroom was separated and blowing the hot air right toward the access opening. This duct repair seems like it would be an easy fix. Since I was up there for a different matter, I did not have the necessary supplies to repair it right then.
This particular heating duct problem was in an apartment in El Dorado County and the unit was not occupied. I don’t know how long it was disconnected but judging by the dust that I saw, it has been that way for some time. There could have been years of wasted energy and money spent without knowledge of the problem existing.
So how would someone know that they had a problem with their duct work?
We certainly don’t recommend the average homeowner to be climbing around in the attic, nor do we want a tenant putting themselves at risk of injury. There are some common sense signs that there is a problem.
Are some rooms colder than others? A pinched or partially collapsed duct can reduce the flow of air to a room or two. In this case there was no air getting to the bathroom. No air flow through a duct is a very good sign that there is a problem with the system.
It would be wise to contract the management of the apartment community if you are renting, or contact a professional contractor with experience in the troubleshooting of the heater and air system. A professional will have both the knowledge and tools to quickly and accurately determine the problem and give you an estimate of repair costs. The savings of the repair may pay for itself over a short period of time.
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