Cobwebs in Your Duct Work

Time to clear out the cobwebs. You should try to keep your duct work clear of cobwebs. In this case that is an understatement.

This job was in a rented duplex that we were called to clean after tenants moved out. When we took a look we saw duct work cobwebs! But how can that be? Did the tenants never turn on the air conditioning or the furnace? Seems unlikely, right?

Properly Balanced Dampers in the Duct Work

We know that cobwebs grow where there is no air flow. So it was clear that air was not flowing through this particular section of the duct work in the home. But if the tenants were using the air conditioning and the furnace why wasn’t the air flowing here? Because they had the damper in the closed position—literally cutting off the air flow here.

Lots of homeowners don’t realize when one or more dampers are closed in their home. In fact, lots of homeowners don’t realize they have dampers or what there function is. They are actually very useful when properly managed and airflow is balanced. When the air flow in your home is properly balanced using the dampers in your duct work you can increase your energy savings.

Ever have one room that is really hot or cold in your house? This could be because the damper is either closed or in the open position.

A damper is a valve or plate that stops or regulates the flow of air inside the duct work. A damper can be used to cut off or regulate central air conditioning or heating to an unused room, or to regulate room temperature and interior climate control. The dampers can be manual or automatic. Manual dampers are turned by a handle on the outside of the duct work. Automatic dampers are used to regulate airflow constantly and are operated by motors, in turn controlled by a thermostat or building automation system.

Here are the dramatic before and after photos from this job.