Many homes in northwest Arkansas are losing energy through a home system they can’t even see — ductwork.
Inefficient air ducts are a common source of major energy loss. Even if your ducts are tightly sealed and insulated (chances are they’re not), you could be losing energy through inefficient design that isn’t adequate for your comfort needs. Fortunately, a retrofit may be able to solve duct problems that are wasting energy.
Good ductwork design starts prior to the actual installation of your air ducts. Your contractor should evaluate the heating and cooling requirements of each room in your home. This is called a “load calculation.” Your heating and cooling loads will determine not only the size of your central HVAC system, but the size and design of your ductwork. The ducts must complement your HVAC equipment to distribute the precise amount of air it creates, and the precise amount of conditioned air every room needs.
Correct ductwork design has many advantages for homeowners, including:
- Adequate air distribution throughout the entire house
- Minimizing hot and cold spots
- Maintaining neutral pressure levels by keeping air circulating and balanced
- Using well-placed return supply grilles to return conditioned air to the system, decreasing the workload on your HVAC equipment
- Reducing stuffy sensations
- Maximizing efficiency by facilitating smooth airflow
The best time to design and install efficient air ducts is during the initial planning and construction of your house. However, improperly designed systems can often be retrofit with upgrades that enhance performance. For instance, the HVAC blower may need to be resized and upgraded, adjusting the amount of airflow that makes it into the ductwork. Upgraded return supply grilles may be installed, which make it simpler for more airflow to be cycled back to the system.
Once your system is designed to optimize efficiency, make sure any seams, connections, rips or tears are sealed with mastic. Also, insulate the sheet metal to prevent energy transference.
If you’d like to have your ductwork design inspected for efficiency, call Paschal Heating, Air & Geothermal. We’ll assess your system and suggest improvements that could increase your comfort while saving energy.
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.
Paschal Heating, Air & Geothermal services Northwest Arkansas. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!