Your home’s ductwork, which delivers conditioned air to your living spaces, is central to a comfortable home. No matter how efficiently your furnace and A/C can produce heated and cooled air, if there are problems with ductwork design and installation, your home comfort and energy savings can be significantly affected.
In order to distribute air equally throughout the home, your ductwork system must balance the supply and return of air. There are a few factors that can contribute to airflow problems:
- Undersized ducts, which can’t deliver a balanced supply of air.
- Twisted ducts, as sharp turns and twists impede air movement.
- Imbalanced duct branches (or having too many of them). One main duct pipe will often have to split off to direct air to two locations, with one larger duct branching off in one direction and a smaller duct branching off in the other.
Return air supply problems can also stem from poor design. For instance, when a two-story home has just one return air grille on the first floor, the second floor is always hotter and the air is stifled, because the air has to reach the first floor to recirculate. An effective return system should include a return grille on the second floor.
Even with good design, installation can hinder balanced airflow throughout your home. Poor installation practices typically lead to leaky ducts, which allow air to escape and cause your energy bills to skyrocket. Good installation should include:
- Effective connections. The installer should use specialized duct tape and tie bands to create a solid, lasting seal.
- The right size start collars. Shorter start collars can result in leaks at the pipe connections. Longer start collars ensure a good fit.
- Tight-fitting connections in the return system. The return air cans and connections should be secured just as tightly as the supply air system.
- Seamless airflow. The installer should ensure that the ducts are installed seamlessly and smoothly throughout the home, as kinks in the ductwork can significantly hinder airflow.
If you think your home’s ductwork design and installation is problematic, contact Arpi’s Industries – HVAC industry leaders in the Calgary area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about ductwork and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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