Home ownership comes with a lot of concerns. Two important issues are home comfort and energy efficiency. 

As efficiency rises, heating bills fall. In that regard, have you thought about your duct system? Is it helping your furnace do its job or hindering it? Maximum furnace efficiency — and energy efficiency, along with it — relies on optimal duct layout. So what is optimal duct layout? Here are the basics:

  • Your ductwork should run through conditioned spaces. Ductwork that runs through unconditioned attics and crawl spaces can easily lose heat and waste your energy dollars.
  • Your supply ducts should be as short and straight as possible. Short runs have minimal connections, which, by their nature, are frequent sources of air loss. Short runs with no twists and turns also optimize air velocity.
  • Theoretically, every room in your home should have an air return. If you have a room that lacks a return register, keep the door open as much as possible, or consider installing a through-the-wall fan, which facilitates air return. Alternatively, talk with your HVAC-system contractor about having a central air return in a location such as a hallway. This is especially effective for rooms on a second floor.

You can do your part to optimize duct efficiency by making sure your ducts are sealed and insulated. Check your ducts for loose connections, rips, holes and dents. Use mastic and mesh — not duct tape — to seal the leaks. Although this is a relatively easy weekend job, you might want to call your HVAC contractor for a systematic approach. Your contractor can replace crushed and dented sections, do a thorough job of sealing and insulating the ducts and reach spots that you might not be able to access yourself.

Cincinnati-area homeowners can depend on Apollo Home Heating, Cooling & Plumbing for expert ductwork attention. We’ve been in the home-comfort business since 1910, and we’re happy to help you optimize your energy efficiency — whether you’re sealing your ducts, buying a new water heater, replacing your furnace or just trying to gather information. Give us a call.

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