There’s a lot of talk about energy-efficient heating and cooling systems. Consumers tend to think that as long as they have a high-efficiency heating system, they’ll get the best energy use possible. While that’s true to a point, there are other factors that impact efficiency. Ductwork design and installation are two of the most significant contributors to efficiency that can make or break utility bills.
Proper installation in conditioned spaces is crucial to preventing energy loss. Ducts must be located in spaces that also receive conditioned air. If a duct were located in an unheated basement, the heating system would have to work harder to heat the air because it passes through a cold space.
Air returns are just as important. Most air return designs use a single return duct in every room or have a return duct centrally located on every level of the home so air can be equally re-circulated back into the system.
Without effective return air supply or adequate airflow, the balance of air pressure and ventilation is disrupted, which makes your heating and cooling systems work harder and less efficiently. Often, as a result of poorly designed or installed ducts, leaks in the ductwork lead to energy losses. Homeowners also find some rooms less comfortable because of inadequate air supply and return.
You can do something about this problem. In existing ductwork systems, you can add insulation and seal air leaks. For retrofits or new construction, work with your contractor so that ductwork system is designed and installed for maximum efficiency and comfort.
Understanding the mechanics of ductwork may help you see why your heating and cooling systems can have problems doing their jobs. But to get a real evaluation of your duct systems and an action plan for fixing them, call the professionals at Arpi’s. We can answer your ductwork design and installation questions.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.