Air ducts, Ductwork, IAQ – Indoor Air Quality

Airflow Issues? Maybe Your Ductwork Design Needs A Look

Air ducts guide warm or cool air through your home from the HVAC system. Many people are aware that duct sealing is important for efficient air flow, but ductwork design also plays a key role. Ducts should keep each room in the home at relatively the same temperature, and keep air cycling through your house with return air flow preventing the build-up of too much pressure in some rooms and not enough in others. Proper air flow takes strain off your HVAC system and increases efficiency, yet the U.S. Department of Energy indicates that many US homes suffer from poor ductwork design, leaving air distribution lagging as low as 60 percent.How do you know if you have air flow or ductwork design issues? Some things to watch out for are unusually high utility bills, ductwork located in places like the attic or garage, and ducts with kinks or tears in them, which inhibit air flow. Other warning signs include rooms that always feel stuffy, and rooms are too warm or cold. If you are able, take a look at where your ducts attach to the furnace distribution box.  If you can feel warm or cold air coming from this area, you are paying to cool or heat your attic. Keeping your ducts well-sealed helps, but it won’t do much good if you’re also dealing with poor duct design, in fact sometimes, it can actually cause more harm in the areas of operation, safety, and indoor air quality.Good ductwork design must work hand in hand with your HVAC system, evenly distributing the same amount of air flow your system produces. If you’ve replaced your HVAC system, but not your ductwork, this could be an issue. The ducts should get smaller as they branch out from the core, like streams branching off a river. They naturally get narrower, enabling less water to flow with the same amount of energy. The angles of the duct design should be smooth and curving as opposed to sharp, which can cause air to “wrinkle” instead of flowing smoothly. The return duct system should have a vent in every room, or at least in central areas of the house and the size of that duct or opening is probably most important. Jumper ducts can be installed to increase the efficiency of your return system.Ductwork design and air flow issues in general can be difficult to diagnose and fix yourself. Give Air Assurance a call if you’re concerned about the circulation in your home!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, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide. Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas.  To get started, check out our website or see our current promotions.