5 Principles That Make HVAC Air Duct Design Efficient and Effective
Quality HVAC air duct design plays a tremendous role in a home’s energy efficiency. A properly designed duct system can help your HVAC system deliver the right amount of conditioned air without wasting energy or creating excessive wear and tear on HVAC components. Not surprisingly, there are five key principles that govern efficient, effective HVAC air duct design:
- Proper ductwork is an absolute must – Shortcuts like closing up wall voids or creating ceiling joist channels can rob your home of its energy efficiency over the long run. Metal and/or fiberglass should be the only materials used for ductwork.
- Handling ducts in unconditioned spaces – You should have most, if not all, of your ductwork within conditioned zones of your home. For unconditioned spaces, ducts should be properly insulated.
- Balance is crucial – The volume of air entering and leaving a room must be balanced to maintain neutral air pressure. Manual dampers can help adjust air flow for just the right amount of balance.
- Always leave a clear path for return air – Return air should always have a clear, unobstructed path, especially when using central return vents in a common area. Jumper ducts and pass-through grilles can help maintain unobstructed air flow.
- Proper sealing and leak-testing is essential – Duct segments should be properly sealed with metal foil tape, mastic or a combination of the two. HVAC technicians should also leak-test ductwork prior to making final connections to the rest of the HVAC system.