In all the years I have been in this trade I have never experienced the amount of damaged caused by animals to a heating system like I encountered on this last system. In fact if it wasn’t for the amount of frustration the customer had from dealing with another heating company I may have turned this job down. When you have a customer with a home under 2000 sq ft and a heating bill (Nat gas) of $350 a month you have a serious problem.
The picture above is of the 3 main trunks coming off the supply plenum, the reason for 3 mains instead of 1 is because of clearance issues, there simply wasn’t room. These 3 main ducts where covered in small prey remains and from the looks of it the bedding area for what ever lived here.
Here I took a picture from inside the plenum looking down one of the mains, all 3 main ducts had similar openings. At a recent coarse I took on duct sealing I was told that a opening of 1 sq inch in a heating duct is equivalent to a 2′ sq opening in a wall. All together I encountered 5 serious openings such as this 1 and 3 minor openings, this is following another heating contractor who was here less than a year ago!
So even though you see what kind of damage can occur with flexible ducting I am still a big fan of its use, but when you have openings into your crawl space you will eventually have duct damage. So either use hard metal ducting or protect your crawl space and do annual inspections.
Heating And Cooling Skagit County
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