Are you considering a home renovation or even building an addition? One of the keys to your whole home energy use is your HVAC ductwork design. It is essential to make sure your ducts are installed in the walls, ceilings and floors correctly. Here are 5 basic principles of home ductwork design to keep in mind when installing new ducts.
Identifying a Quality Design
- Sizing – What kind of heating or cooling load is required to make your house comfortable, and what size ducts will you need to accommodate it? This varies from house to house, depending on square footage, how much sunlight it gets, and a variety of other factors. The wrong size ducts will put extra strain on the HVAC system, wasting energy. Your contractor will use Manual J, the HVAC load calculation manual, to find the ideal size ductwork for your home.
- Building – Ducts should be made of strong, lasting materials, such as metal or fiberglass. Additionally, all ductwork should be properly insulated to maintain the temperature of the air as it passes through the ducts.
- Adjusting – Each room’s duct branch should have a damper to adjust the flow of air for that particular room and make sure it gets the amount it needs. Once that level has been found, the damper should be permanently secured in that position to prevent gradual air loss or gain over time.
- Balancing – To keep airflow balanced, home ductwork design should have a return duct in every room, in addition to a supply duct, but this isn’t always practical. A single, central return duct may be installed instead, with additional ducts and vents added to ensure air is able to reach the duct effectively.
- Testing – Once the ductwork is installed, it needs to be tested to make sure it’s functioning properly. Your HVAC technician should conduct a blower door test, to make sure your ducts were installed securely and that there are no leaks.
Learn more about home ductwork design from the home comfort pros at Keith Air Conditioning, Inc. or contact us today at 251-476-3610.