The ductwork of your home heating and cooling systems is usually installed out of sight, but it’s no less important for being unseen. A well-designed, well-insulated and well-maintained ductwork system will give you improved interior comfort while saving you money on your year-round utility bills.
Here are five key factors to consider for proper ductwork design:
Make sure the ducts are large enough to carry enough air to heat or cool your home. Too-small ducts will restrict airflow and cause poor heating and cooling.
Choose a configuration that will work best within the space you have for installation. Two of the more common are “radial” and “trunk and branch” designs. In the radial configuration, the heating or cooling unit sits in the center and supply and return ducts radiate outward, like the spokes of a bicycle tire. In a trunk and branch set-up, large ducts extend straight outward from the central unit. Smaller supply and return ducts, in turn, extend from those larger ducts.
Avoid running ductwork systems through unconditioned areas of your home, such as crawl spaces or attics. Ducts placed in conditioned spaces will be more efficient and will lose less energy.
Ductwork sections should fit together tightly to prevent air leaks and energy loss. Make sure sections, joints and elbows are snug, and seal connections with mastic sealant or metal tape.
Ductwork that runs through unconditioned space must be a minimum of R6 insulation which is typically 1 1/2 inches thick. R8 duct is preferred. If the ductwork runs through a conditioned space it can be insulated with R4 or 1 inch of insulation.
Always refer to authoritative industry references for specific guidance in ductwork design. The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) Manual D is a standard expert reference guide for creating well-designed ductwork systems.
CCAC, Inc. is, as our name says, Constantly Concerned About Customers. We provide trusted HVAC service to Corpus Christi and the Coastal Bend. Let us help you design and install an efficient, effective ductwork system for your new or renovated home. Contact us today for a consultation or estimate.
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, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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