Good Ductwork Design Will Pay Off In Savings And Comfort

Good Ductwork Design Will Pay Off In Savings And ComfortWhile efficient, effective heating and cooling equipment is the source of household comfort, proper ductwork design is the delivery system. Focusing on either component alone without the other is an approach that leads to diminished interior comfort and disappointing efficiency results. Manufacturers’ performance specs for new furnaces and air conditioners assume the system is connected to ductwork that allows for the realities of today’s high energy costs. Original equipment ductwork, designed during a bygone era of low utility costs, often falls short. Here are some elements of contemporary ductwork design that should be incorporated in new construction or when upgrading home HVAC equipment.

  1. Design the system according to Manual D standards. A professional HVAC contractor will use Manual D, the industry standard ductwork design software, to correctly size and configure the ductwork before furnace and A/C equipment is installed or upgraded. In the past, this procedure was often left to rough guesstimates that included installing grossly oversized equipment to compensate for shortfalls in the design. Today, Manual D calculations allow your contractor to design a delivery system that perfectly matches the requirements of the home to the performance specs of the system.
  2. Minimize twists, turns and “Y” junctions. Air moves through your ductwork like water. When it encounters right-angle turns or twists in the ducts, airflow is diminished and pressure imbalances occur. Rooms closer to the air handler may receive an over-supply of conditioned air while rooms farther away are starved. Straight spans of ductwork reduce internal friction and sustain proper airflow.
  3. Keep ductwork inside the home’s thermal envelope. Sometimes routing ducts through unconditioned zones like attics and crawl spaces is unavoidable. However, it’s never ideal.  Ductwork conveying cool, air conditioned air through a broiling attic may exhibit thermal loss; similarly, ducts in chilly crawl spaces or basements may lose heat in winter. Where no alternative to routing through unconditioned areas exists, insulate ductwork to a minimum of R-6.

Wabash Valley homeowners have trusted Paitson Bros. Heating & Air Conditioningfor their home comfort needs since 1922. Let us evaluate your ductwork design for optimum efficiency and performance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana 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.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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