Is your home’s ductwork design where it needs to be? Do you notice that your energy bills have been unusually high or your home comfort has decreased significantly? Not to worry. By considering a few critical ductwork design factors, you can improve energy saving and comfort.
In homes with forced-air heating and cooling systems, the ductwork is a series of connected pipes that distributes conditioned air. The overall efficiency of your systems depends on the ducts, which will lose energy as heated and cooled air travels through them and ends up costing you in terms of energy consumption and home comfort.
To find where duct design is failing, consider these three factors:
- Sealing — Leaky ducts can lead to multiple problems, including higher energy costs, a more humid home and contaminated air. When installing a new system, sealing ductwork should be one of the final steps during installation. If your existing ductwork leaks, you can use mastic sealant or metal-backed tape to seal duct connections
- Insulating — Ducts can also lose energy through conduction, where a portion of the conditioned air traveling through ducts is lost to the cooler surrounding spaces, as warm air will naturally travel toward cooler spaces. Insulating these ducts will help to neutralize conduction, as will locating the majority of ducts inside the spaces in your home that receive heating and cooling.
- Locating — The location of your ducts’ supply and return runs will dictate home comfort potential—and energy savings too. To optimize design, ducts should be located in specially designed duct chases and/or in between floors (for homes with more than one level). Another key principle to keep in mind is that ducts should run as straight and short as possible from the HVAC equipment to the individual rooms. The best location for supply outlets is generally along the perimeter of exterior walls, which is ideal if the home is well insulated. Returns can be located low to the floor to optimize heating and high on a wall to optimize cooling.
To maximize your home’s ductwork design, contact Roth Heating & Cooling today for a free home consultation. We serve homeowners in throughout the metro Portland area.