One component that can significantly impact duct efficiency is insulation. While it’s also important to seal duct leaks, without proper insulation levels, your ducts are susceptible to significant energy losses as the conditioned air travels through them. In Calgary, where every heating dollar counts, losing energy through ducts is unacceptable.
Insulation is a valuable component of an efficient duct system because of the differences between the temperature in the air and the temperature of the conditioned air that’s moving through the ducts.
It is common for ducts to lose energy in this way, through a process called conduction. Without insulation, particularly in unconditioned spaces, the hot air traveling through uninsulated or poorly insulated ducts will decrease in temperature, as heat is lost when it meets cooler air. The converse happens in the summer when cool conditioned air meets warmer air. In fact, conduction can contribute to up to 30 percent loss of the conditioned air your HVAC systems produces.
To keep heated air within the ducts, so that it can reach all of the rooms in your home, you’ll need to assess and upgrade duct insulation. Check ductwork in both unconditioned spaces and conditioned spaces, as energy loss can also occur in ducts located in conditioned spaces.
Inferior duct efficiency can contribute to significant comfort problems, and it’s the process of conduction that can lead to cold rooms in the winter. By the time the air has traveled to rooms that are located far away from the central duct system, the air supply has a much lower temperature than it did at initial delivery and production.
For homes in colder regions, much like Calgary’s, homeowners should use specific insulation R-values to ensure duct efficiency. For attic spaces, use an R-value between 6 and 11. For basements or crawl spaces, use R-2 to R-11.
Increase your duct efficiency today by upgrading insulation, and you’ll save all winter long — and year round. For expert help evaluating your ductwork system, or upgrading its insulation, contact the experts at Arpi’s Industries today!
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about ducts and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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