The system of ducts that delivers the conditioned air produced by your HVAC equipment has a big impact on the system’s efficiency as well as your monthly energy bills. If you’ve decided to upgrade to a more efficient furnace or air conditioner, making necessary improvements to the ductwork at the same time is vital to maximize your potential energy savings. Here are five indicators of good ductwork design to discuss with your HVAC professional.
Ducting that’s installed in unconditioned areas like the garage, crawl space, or attic is often exposed to temperature extremes that erode efficiency. To prevent this, ducting runs should be placed inside interior ceilings, floors or walls within your home’s envelope efficiently. If installing a section of ducting in an unfinished area can’t be avoided, it should be wrapped in R-8 insulation to help control heat gains and losses.
Proper duct sizing directly affects your home comfort and energy consumption. To size ducts accurately, an HVAC contractor performs calculations using ACCA’s Manual J and S software to determine the heating and cooling loads in each room. Manual D calculations are then done to design an efficient duct system.
In the past, it was acceptable to route conditioned air through interior wall cavities and channels between ceiling joists. As well as being inefficient, these shortcuts let contaminants and pollutants into a home’s air supply. Today, ducts made of sheet metal, approved flexible material, or fiberglass are the standard.
For heating and cooling efficiency, your HVAC system needs to maintain neutral air pressure in the various rooms of your home. To achieve this balance, the same of amount of air needs to be delivered and drawn from each room through properly placed supply and return registers.
Sealing and Insulating
To ensure maximum airflow from the registers and reduce energy losses, duct sections should be screwed together, joints and seams sealed with mastic, and the ducting wrapped with R-6 or R-8 insulation, depending on its location.
If you’re concerned about ductwork deficiencies in your southwest Oklahoma home, contact us today at Davis Air Conditioning.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Lawton and Duncan, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Boobl/Shutterstock”