If you’re starting a home renovation project this year, be sure to include an effective ductwork design in your plans. Even though they are largely out of sight and out of mind, your ducts play a critical role in the efficiency and effectiveness of your forced air heating and cooling systems. Badly designed or poorly installed ductwork can keep heated or cooled air from reaching its destination, leaving your newly renovated space uncomfortable and your family unhappy.Here are a few things to consider as you work with your architect and HVAC contractor on your ductwork design:
- Your ducts must be sized to provide balanced airflow throughout your house. If they are sized right, you might be able to buy a smaller furnace or air conditioner than you initially expected. This will save you money up front and reduce your energy bills for the life of the system.
- Your ductwork design should include adequate return ducts so that every room has sufficient airflow. Ideally, each room should have its own return duct. Provide vents in doors or walls so air can flow to the nearest return air duct if you do not have one in each room.
- Ducts should run inside the insulated space of your house wherever possible. If you have to run ducts through an unconditioned space such as your attic, they should be insulated to prevent energy losses.
- Joints in ducts should be sealed with mastic and mechanically fastened with sheet-metal screws or clamps to keep gaps from opening up due to thermal expansion. Well-sealed ducts will minimize air leaks, which can be a big source of energy losses from your system.
- Effective joint sealing is critically important anywhere your ducts run through spaces that might contain combustion gases or other noxious fumes, such as your garage or utility room. Otherwise these gases might get into your air circulation.
- Avoid sharp bends in ductwork to minimize resistance to airflow.
Call on us at Climate Control Company for help with your ductwork design. We have served Glenwood Springs, Aspen, Vail and nearby Western Slope communities since 1956. Our ductwork experts will help you create the most effective design for your renovation project.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Aspen, Vail and the surrounding Western slope communities in Colorado about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about ductwork design and other HVAC topics, please visit our website.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock