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Duct Design: How it Affects Heating and Cooling

Duct Design: How it Affects Heating and CoolingMost homeowners think of their air conditioner, furnace or heat pump as the most critically-important components of their HVAC system. One component that’s often overlooked is the duct system responsible for air distribution, but it affects how the entire system performs.

A Poor Duct Design

Installation flaws and ductwork leaks and damage can create serious heating and cooling problems related to:

Temperature control. Defective ductwork that leaks conditioned air can make it more difficult to maintain a consistent, comfortable temperature inside your home.

Indoor air quality. Duct system deficiencies may cause pressure imbalances in a home, and this can draw in allergens and contaminants that degrade your home’s air quality.

Energy usage. When HVAC equipment has to overcome duct system flaws and leaks, it’s forced to work harder and uses more energy.

Component lifespan. Overworked heating and cooling equipment will wear out faster, and need replacement sooner.

Effective Duct Design Basics

When it’s properly designed, the duct system delivers a precise volume of air that’s heated/cooled to the right temperature throughout your home. It also carries stale air back to your HVAC equipment for reheating/cooling. Creating an effective ductwork system requires a knowledge of the science behind thermal gains/losses, air distribution, air pressure and flow. The use of quality materials and fabrication along with skilled installation completes the package. A well designed duct system also incorporates:

Correct duct sizing. All the ducts need to be sized accurately for your HVAC equipment’s capacity. Installing oversized ducts will make the HVAC system less efficient, while undersized ducts won’t be able to carry the needed volume of air.

Balanced airflow. The supply and return sides of the duct system need to deliver the same volume of air to maintain a state of neutral pressure in your home and HVAC system.

Optimal placement. To minimize energy losses, ductwork should be installed inside your home’s conditioned envelope. If ducts must be placed in an unconditioned space (like the attic), they’re well sealed and properly insulated.

If you suspect that the duct design in your Yuma home is adversely affecting heating and cooling, contact us at Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company for expert help.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 928-723-3183.