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Can my Ductwork Become Damaged?

Updated: May 6

How often do you think about your ductwork? Probably a lot less than we do! It’s easy to forget–out of sight, out of mind, right? Although your ductwork remains behind closed doors (walls?), it’s crucial to keep the age and health of your ductwork in mind, as your HVAC system is often considered to be the backbone of the home.

Air conditioning duct repair on an HVAC system
Air duct repair

Although it may not be something you think about often, it’s very important to keep your ductwork in mind every once in a while, as they are at risk for damage that, if goes unnoticed, can cause further damage and cost big bucks to repair.

So, how can ductwork become damaged?

Not keeping up with maintenance. When planning for regular maintenance on your HVAC system or A/C, consider scheduling a ductwork cleaning as well. In general, the ductwork should be cleaned once every 1 to 5 years. Failure in keeping your ductwork clean can result in damages such as tears, holes, and air leaks–all of which can end up costing you money in the form of higher electric bills and inefficient heating and cooling.

Blocked vents and ductwork. Ineffective filters or filters that haven’t been changed in a very long time can build up debris quickly once clogged. This not only can block up your air ducts, but it can also reduce the quality of air that you’re breathing dramatically, which can adversely affect people with asthma or allergies. Blocked-up ductwork can develop holes and leaks over time due to unmanaged debris. Make sure to switch out your filters at least every 3 months–for a lot of reasons!

Damage upon impact. Although not many Texans have basements, some of us may! Many basements have exposed ducts that are vulnerable to physical damage over time. This can even be in the form of aggressively cleaning the outside of the ducts, which can end up creating holes, damaging connections, or making dents. All of these things can result in overall damage that can cause air leaks in your ducts. Likewise, some basements can be quite humid, causing rust, so it’s important to look out for this as well to stop it before it becomes a problem.

Old age! We all wish our HVAC systems and ductwork could last forever. Alas, it is simply not the case. While ductwork can last a hardy 15-20 years, the time will come when lots of maintenance equals an all-out replacement. It’s very important to not use the ducts past their lifespan, especially if they are truly showing signs of their age. Prolonged use of old ducts can result in collapses, which would just add to the headache of having to replace them altogether!

Animals. We can’t kid ourselves–we’re in the deep south, and we live alongside a lot of different critters. Squirrels, raccoons, and possums aren’t unknown neighbors, and it’s also not a big surprise when they inevitably end up in our walls or air ducts at some point. Obviously, a possum or raccoon dragging their claws around your air ducts will cause some pretty good damage, which can break the seal and cause air leakage. Likewise, insects can also be a sore spot, as they can set up shop in your air ducts and cause damage that way as well.

The bottom line

There are many ways that your air ducts can become damaged. If you are experiencing any of the damaged air duct symptoms listed above, it’s important to call a professional right away to get you on the right track and to try and save you some money by avoiding costly repairs in the future.

Call us

You and your equipment’s health and efficiency are important to us. Maintaining your HVAC system saves you headaches and cash, and putting your unit on a regular schedule with us here at Tri-Point can help ensure that you, your home, and your family stay comfortable. Have questions about air ducts? Please, don’t hesitate in giving us a call here at Tri-Point Refrigeration. We’re happy to hear from you and are excited to help you along the way.

For a direct line to any of our employees ready on the line to help you, please call…(512) 651-4565 for our Austin, Texas community (806) 686-0050 for our Lubbock, Texas community. Or check out our website at



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