Ductwork Design -- 3 Elements That Are Essential To Efficiency

Your ductwork design plays a key role in your home heating system. Your heating and cooling, humidification, and ventilation systems depend on efficient ductwork. Without that, the most efficient systems will be overburdened, and likely will never reach the optimal efficiency gains for which they were designed.

Three elements are essential to ductwork design: sealing leaks, insulating and ductwork construction.

Sealing leakage

In addition to efficient operation, sealing ducts provides home comfort, safety and healthier indoor air. Proper ductwork design delivers even heating and cooling. It prevents pollutants, emissions, carbon monoxide, and chemical and biological contaminants from seeping into your conditioned air. Take the following steps for sealing your ducts:

  • Check air-supply registers and return grilles for secure connections. This is a common place for leakage.
  • Seal loose duct connections at joints and elbows.
  • Make sure to check for leaks in unconditioned areas of your home, such as the attic and crawlspaces, and seal those leaks appropriately.
  • Repair or replace torn, damaged, tangled or kinked ducts.

Insulating unconditioned spaces

Unconditioned areas of your home, such as the garage, attic, basement, and crawl spaces, are prime areas for efficiency losses due to inadequate insulation. Ducts in these areas must be insulated and sealed.

Ductwork construction

Promote efficient airflow by designing the ductwork with as direct of a route as possible from the air handler to the registers. It’s best to get it right the first time. Here are some guidelines:

  • Considering that leaky ducts are inevitable over the life of the system, utilize conditioned spaces for running ductwork wherever possible.
  • Avoid running ducts inside walls and other hard to reach areas.
  • If you must use small building cavities for airflow, use actual ductwork.
  • Use Y-branches that ease airflow friction rather than standard T-branches.
  • The air-supply and return airflow should be unhindered. Install jumper ducts and transfer grilles if needed.

Undertaking ductwork repairs, retrofits or new construction is a major task which affects your energy costs for years. It’s best to ask for the help of a heating and cooling professional. Call Joe Behr Plumbing and Heating. We have proudly served the Mid-Ohio area since 1965.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about ductwork design and other HVAC topics, visit our website.

Joe Behr Plumbing and Heating, Inc. services the Mid-Ohio area. 

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