Inefficient duct design is a problem that compromises your home comfort, and can decrease your home’s heating and cooling efficiency by as much as 20 percent annually. Therefore, if you’re building a new home, you should work closely with your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) contractor during the process of designing an efficient duct system.
Here are five guidelines that will help you and your HVAC contractor design an efficient duct system:
- Design: Ducts should be designed and installed for your home’s specific parameters, such as square footage, floor plan, number of windows, and orientation to the sun. This makes significant difference if you want to achieve balanced airflow. Ducts should take the most direct route between your system’s air handler and your home’s air-supply registers. And if you need to install ducts in unconditioned areas of your home, ensure that you insulate those ducts properly. This prevents substantial energy loss through conduction.
- Sizing: Duct sizing is dependent upon the size of your HVAC equipment; a heat loss and gain measurement that your HVAC contractor can perform; and the distance to the furthest register. Your heating and cooling professional should conduct a room-by-room evaluation of your home when you are designing an efficient duct system, to ensure the proper ductwork sizing.
- Location: It’s important that each level of your home’s living space has a return grille. For optimal conditioning, install a return grille in each area that has an air-supply register. Or, you may utilize grille transfers, especially for rooms for which you keeps the doors closed often. Additionally, you should locate air-supply registers as close as possible to your air handler, which typically means that you install them on your rooms’ inner walls.
- Sealing: Ductwork will develop leaks over time. It’s unavoidable. It may even happen sooner than it really should if your ductwork installation is substandard. Your HVAC contractor should conduct a thorough duct inspection to pinpoint problem areas, and you should fasten or seal all leaks and disconnected joints with collars, mastic and mesh. Additionally, don’t forget to inspect registers and grilles for secure connections.
- Air circulation: If you’ve followed the previous four steps, then your ductwork’s air circulation should be even and balanced throughout your home. Achieving balanced air pressure is a primary goal when designing an efficient duct system. Unbalanced air pressure can enable infiltration of outside air, which means that your home’s temperature will not be even and you’ll likely be losing energy, or from attached garages, which can pose health concerns for you and your loved ones.
For designing an efficient duct system, work with your technician to ensure optimal results for years to come. Contact Overland Park Heating and Cooling today. We’ve proudly served residential and commercial customers in Overland Park, Johnson County and Kansas City since 1983.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about efficient duct systems and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.