Your ductwork is the network of large metal pipes that carries heated or cooled air from your furnace or central air conditioner to points throughout your house. Because all of the conditioned air in your home travels through the ductwork, there is an increased chance of energy loss within the system. Whether your home is older or has been newly built, there are effective ways to minimize energy loss in the ductwork.
Your duct system must be designed to fit within the space available. It must also be able to supply sufficient amounts of conditioned air to all parts of your home. “Radial” and “trunk and branch” designs are among the most common. Too many “Y” branches or damaged ducts can cause poor performance. Design factors are easier to address during new construction, but even in older homes, ductwork can be rearranged for better efficiency.
The entire ductwork system must be thoroughly sealed to prevent air leaks and energy loss. Ductwork sections should fit tightly together with adjoining sections, particularly at elbows and joints. Seal all connections with mastic, a specialized sealant for use on ducts. Taping does not last and is no longer an approved method.
Ducts should be well insulated since energy can be lost through the relatively thin metal of the ductwork itself. Affix rigid fiber board insulation to external surfaces of the ductwork to prevent this energy loss.
Ducts must be correctly sized to be effective and prevent energy loss. They must be big enough to carry and distribute enough heated or cooled air to the farthest points of the duct network. If your ducts are too small, they will restrict airflow within the system.
Place ducts in conditioned and insulated areas of the home where possible. Running ductwork through garages, crawl spaces, or unfinished basements or attics increases the possibility of energy loss.
For 40 years, Acosta Heating, Cooling & Electrical has been providing professional heating and air conditioning services to customers in Charlotte and surrounding areas. Contact us today for more information ductwork sealing, insulation and design, and for additional information on reducing energy loss throughout the system.