When your central air conditioning unit stops delivering the proper level of cool air to your living spaces, you shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that you need to replace your air conditioner or spend thousands of dollars in repairs. If you air conditioner runs like it always did but you notice that the amount of forced air that reaches your air registers has been decreasing, there’s a good chance that you have faulty ductwork and not a faulty air conditioning unit or other mechanized elements of your heating and cooling system.
Unlike replacing an air conditioner or trying to fix old machinery that should ideally be replaced, air conditioning duct repair is one of the least expensive forms of air conditioning repair. Over the years, ductwork can lose its seal and start delivering a sizeable portion of the airflow that once reached your living spaces to crawl spaces and the insides of floors and walls. Reusing old ductwork and air registers when installing updated air conditioning components is another common cause of reduced airflow. But in either case, the fix is usually as simple as re-tightening the seals or using spray foam to seal gaps that result from old ductwork insufficiently paired with new machinery.
In the absence of air conditioning duct repair, people whose homes suffer form reduced air flow typically take one of two unfortunate measures: they crank their air conditioner up in hopes of finally achieving a certain level of coolness or they cut one or more extra openings in the plenum of their basement or attic handler unit. But neither method offers a sufficient fix, with the first resulting in higher electric bills and the second making little to no difference at all when reduced airflow is the result of leaky ductwork.