HVAC Ductwork Basics

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Consistent temperature control and healthy indoor air quality throughout your home rely on HVAC ductwork basics to get the job done. The blower in a typical residential air handler continuously circulates over 1,000 cubic feet per minute of conditioned air as long as the system is cycled on.

Here are some HVAC ductwork basics that show how the elements work together—and how common problems sometimes arise.

  • Residential ductwork is actually two systems: supply ducts and return ducts.

  • Supply ducts deliver conditioned air to individual rooms, entering through a supply vent on an upper portion of a wall, close to the ceiling.

  • Return ducts remove air and convey it back to the air handler to be cooled or heated again. Some houses have return vents in every room, many others have only one central return vent often located in a central hallway.

  • Supply and return air volume in the ductwork system is balanced to ensure neutral air pressure inside each room—the optimum condition for temperature control and air quality.

  • Most ductwork is not visible in a typical home. Usually, the long spans are routed through areas such as the attic or crawl space. Shorter “branch” ducts that extend into rooms may be installed inside wall cavities.

  • Rigid ducts are usually fabricated of rectangular or round sheet metal. Flexible ducts consist of a wire internal coil covered by plastic.

Potential Duct Problems

As ductwork ages, air leaks may develop at joints and other points in the system. Loss of conditioned air into unconditioned zones such as the crawl space or attic is a major contributor to increased operating costs and poor cooling and heating performance. A professional duct inspection including pressure testing can determine the extent of leakage. Proven sealing techniques will restore leaky ductwork to standards.

Thermal gain or loss frequently affects airflow temperature in ducts routed through very hot or cold zones like the attic or crawl space. Insulating exposed ductwork in these unconditioned zones resolves the issue.

Ask the experts at Air Assurance for more about HVAC ductwork basics and professional duct service to maintain indoor comfort and efficiency.


When You Should Use a Ductless, Mini-Split System

When You Should Use a Ductless, Mini-Split System

If you’re planning to add livable space to your home, you might find that ductless mini-split systems are the perfect way to heat and cool it. A mini-split refers to an air conditioner or heat pump that works just like a central system minus the ductwork.

Mini-splits work well for:

  • Add-on rooms.

  • Attic or basement retrofits.

  • Garages and workshops.

  • Stand-alone buildings.

They provide the same level of comfort as central systems do, often with better efficiency. They also solve problems associated with remodeling projects where the ductwork won’t fit easily or the existing HVAC system can’t be extended.

Besides remarkable comfort, mini-splits offer more advantages, like:

  • Easy installation. These systems come complete from the factory, where the refrigerant is installed. A mini-split heat pump or air conditioner has an indoor air handler and an outdoor condenser. A flexible conduit contains the refrigerant line, the wiring and a drain line.When installing a mini-split, the technician has to drill a hole for the conduit, position the air handler and condenser, and connect the two. There is no ductwork to install and seal to deliver the conditioned air.

  • High energy efficiency. Mini-split systems exceed the energy efficiency of central systems because there are no thermal or air leaks through ductwork. They often have upgraded features that increase their efficiency even more.

When not to use a mini-split:

As advantageous as mini-splits are, they don’t work in every situation. Homes with lots of hallways and interior doors will block the free circulation of air from a mini-split. They’re also more expensive per ton than central systems. If you’re remodeling and need a new HVAC system, it might make more financial sense to install new equipment for the whole house than invest in a mini-split for a small space.

As you move forward with the addition or retrofit, exploring the benefits of mini-split systems will ensure your long term comfort and satisfaction. To learn more, contact Air Assurance, providing trusted HVAC services for Broken Arrow homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about ductless mini-split systems and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.


Tight Ductwork: Why it's Important

Tight Ductwork: Why it's Important

To keep your HVAC system working at its most efficient level, you must have tight ducts. Leaks in your ducts allow energy loss as heated or cooled air leaves the system before it's delivered where it's needed. Uneven or overly high energy bills are a clear sign of leaking ducts. Here's why it's important to keep your ducts tight, and what you can do if you suspect you have an issue.

Tight Ducts Keep Your Home More Efficient and Comfortable

Tight ductwork is crucial for two reasons. First, it keeps your home more comfortable. Leaky ducts can allow heated or cooled energy to escape before it reaches areas of your home, and this can hurt the overall comfort of your home.Second, ducts that leak allow energy to leave the system, and with it the money you've worked hard for. Leaky ducts make your energy bills higher than they should be.

Signs of Ductwork Leaks

So beyond the discomfort or high energy bills, are there any signs that indicate you have a problem with your ducts? These can be signs of ductwork issues that need to be addressed:

  • Rattling noises from the ducts

  • Uneven heating and cooling throughout the home

  • Loud "swoosh" of air flow

While these may or may not indicate a leak, if you're noticing them, you need to talk to a qualified HVAC professional to ensure you don't have a serious problem brewing.

How to Fix a Leak

Fixing a ductwork leak requires the right knowledge and understandings about how these systems work. Duct tape, unfortunately, is all-too-common of a solution, but one that does little real good. Instead, you need to seal leaks with mastic sealant or a quality metal tape designed for the purpose. However, finding the leaks is not always easy, so it's always best to consult with a qualified HVAC professional.

Of you suspect that you might have a leaky duct problem in your Broken Arrow home, contact the Air Assurance team for an evaluation and workable solution. With tighter ducts, you will enjoy a more comfortable and more efficient home.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about tight ductwork and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “byrev/Pixabay”


Signs That Your Ductwork is Getting Too Old

Signs That Your Ductwork is Getting Too Old

Your ductwork isn't out in plain view, so you may not think of it often or realize that its age can directly affect how well your HVAC system functions. Old ductwork that's deteriorating can gradually erode your HVAC system's energy efficiency, reduce your comfort and even degrade the air quality in your home. Once you know what to look for, it's easy to spot the signs that your aging ducts may need replacement.

Signs That Your Old Ducts Need Replacement

Here are a few of the indicators that aging ductwork is a problem in your home:

  • Ineffective design. Ducts that were installed 15 or more years ago often have serious design flaws. Nowadays, HVAC system installers design ductwork using Manual D calculations so that the duct sizes and layout are optimized to ensure balanced airflow throughout the system.

  • Increasing energy consumption. A rise in your household energy bills when your usage habits haven't changed and you keep the HVAC equipment well maintained may be directly related to energy losses from deteriorating ducts.

  • Evidence of decay or damage. Although you can't examine ductwork behind your walls and ceilings, you can assess the overall condition of the ducts by checking accessible sections in the attic, garage or crawlspace. Issues to look for include holes and gaps in the ductwork, crushed or disconnected sections, corroded metal and a lack of insulation.

  • Declining air quality. If the return side of your duct system is suffering from age-related deterioration, all kinds of harmful and unhealthy particles can be drawn into the HVAC system and pollute your air supply. If anyone in the household is experiencing worsening allergies, asthma or other breathing problems, the duct system should be inspected.

  • Comfort issues. If you're dealing with temperature inconsistencies and hot or cold spots in different rooms, poor overall ductwork design, leaks and deterioration may be impacting how much heated or cooled air reaches the registers.

If you're concerned that old ductwork may be negatively affecting comfort, air quality and energy efficiency in your Broken Arrow home, contact us at Air Assurance for an expert duct system inspection.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about ductwork and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “bernard-zajac/Shutterstock”

Air Leaks, Duct Sealing, Duct System, Ductwork, Featured

Are Your Ducts Tight Enough to Keep Heat Inside Your Home?

Are Your Ducts Tight Enough to Keep Heat Inside Your Home?

Most people know how to locate their furnace. Fewer people know where to find heating ducts or how to tell if they are working properly. Unfortunately, without basic knowledge about the HVAC system, recognizing problems can be difficult. Here are some signs that your ducts could be in need of routine care or repairs:

  • Uneven heating or cooling

  • Unexpected increases in heating costs

  • Frequent shaking or rattling noises

  • High-pitched or "whooshing" sound

When the HVAC system is working properly, cool air is brought to the furnace to be heated, then the warmed air is sent back through tight ducts to heat your home. However, if air is having trouble moving through the ductwork, the problems may be caused by blocked ducts. Blocked ductwork can also cause noises or create hot and cold spots. Leaks also make it hard to warm your home evenly.

If you suspect problems, first check that none of the registers are blocked by furniture, then move on to looking for a solution to your heating problems. While you can compare temperatures in different areas of the house or other very basic tests, a technician is required to perform most tests. HVAC experts look for air leaks, determine whether the ducts are the correct size for your living space, and check to see if you have tight ducts or if they need repair.Many people believe that repairs can easily be done with duct tape, but this does not give secure results. For reliable, long lasting repairs, a technician should always be consulted. Professionals replace unusable segments of ductwork and use high quality, durable supplies such as sheet metal screws, mastic, joint collars, metal tape, and fiberglass to repair less seriously damaged parts of the ductwork.

Air Assurance has been taking care of HVAC systems in homes and businesses in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma since 1985. If you have any concerns about whether your tight ducts will keep you warm this winter, call us today!

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Kichigin/Shutterstock”

Duct System, Ductwork, Featured

Decide If It’s Time to Replace Your Ductwork

Decide If It’s Time to Replace Your Ductwork

Ductwork is the key component of your HVAC system that delivers conditioned air to all the rooms in your home. Since it's hidden away behind your ceilings and walls, you may not realize the duct system is in poor condition and having a negative impact on your energy bills, comfort and indoor air quality. Here are some subtle warning signs of deteriorating ducts that are easy to identify:

  • Temperature variations in different areas, and hot or cold spots.

  • Excessive dust on the registers, household surfaces and furniture.

  • Worsening allergies, asthma and other breathing problems.

  • Evidence of mold growth inside the HVAC system.

  • Rising heating and cooling costs due to a loss of energy efficiency.

Factors to Weigh When Deciding on Duct Replacement

If you're experiencing the symptoms of ductwork problems, you can weigh the following factors to help you decide if it's due for replacement:

  • Workmanship and age. If the duct system wasn't designed well, made from quality materials and installed correctly, it may only have a 10- to 15-year service life.

  • Condition of the accessible ducting. Take a close look at the exposed ducting in your crawl space, attic or garage for issues such as disconnected spans, leaky joints, dust streaks near the seams, or rust and corrosion.

  • Airflow inconsistencies and temperature variations. Reduced air volume at some registers and temperature differences between rooms can be symptoms of hidden duct problems such as collapsed or disconnected sections, decaying sealant or missing insulation.

  • Air leakage. If you want to know the extent of air leakage in the ducts, get a blower test performed. During the test, the ducts are pressurized and the amount of airflow needed to maintain that pressure is measured to calculate air loss.

If you need help deciding if replacement is your best option, have the duct system inspected by an experienced HVAC professional. A knowledgeable contractor will make sure new ducts are properly designed and installed, then sealed, insulated, and tested for leaks.

For expert advice about whether it's time to replace the ductwork in your Broken Arrow home, contact us today at Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “iQoncept/Shutterstock”

Air Leaks, Ductwork, Featured

Why You Should Have a Pro Seal Your Air Ducts

Why You Should Have a Pro Seal Your Air Ducts

You may not think about your home's ductwork often since it's hidden from sight, but deficiencies in this critical HVAC system component can erode your comfort. If ducts aren't properly sealed and insulated, up to 40 percent of the system's conditioned air output can escape before it reaches the registers. Duct sealing can solve this problem and prevent other serious issues as well.

Benefits of Professional Duct Sealing

When you hire an experienced professional, you'll have peace of mind that the air ducts in your home are thoroughly inspected and any damaged or disconnected sections are repaired. A pro seals the seams with fiberglass mesh and mastic and then wraps the ducts with R-8 insulation. Taking these steps is especially important in hard-to-access areas like the attic, garage, and crawl space where air losses often occur. Some of the major benefits you'll gain from the process include:

  • Greater comfort — When duct deficiencies are corrected, conditioned airflow from the registers improves. You'll experience fewer hot and cold spots in different rooms, and you'll find it easier to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the house.

  • Lower energy bills — Heating and cooling devours roughly 45 percent of the energy used in your home each year. Reducing air leakage in the duct system by 30 percent can result in energy savings of up to 16 percent and help curb high yearly heating and cooling costs.

  • Better indoor air quality— When the ducts are properly sealed, unhealthy contaminants can't enter the air supply from the attic, wall cavities, or other unconditioned spaces.

  • Enhanced safety — Eliminating leaks in the duct system lowers the risk of carbon monoxide exposure from a back-drafting gas water heater or furnace.

  • Longer equipment life span— Compensating for air leakage puts added strain on the HVAC equipment, which can shorten its service life. Sealing and insulating ducts reduces this unnecessary wear and tear, and it also helps keep out debris that can build up on sensitive components and cause a premature failure.

To learn more about the many benefits of duct sealing, contact the Broken Arrow HVAC pros at Air Assurance today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Lopolo/Shutterstock”

Duct Sealing, Ductwork

Keep Your Attic Ducts Free of Costly Leaks

Keep Your Attic Ducts Free of Costly Leaks

According to Energy Star, leaky and poorly designed ducts account for as much as 30 percent of the energy lost in the average home. If you experience uneven temperatures in your home, or hear rattling noises caused by loose ducts, make sure to find and seal them so you can save more energy dollars and increase your home comfort.

Finding Attic Duct Leaks

Most attics are inhospitable, so make sure to dress appropriately by wearing goggles and a hard hat. For a basic duct leak evaluation, you only need a few simple tools: a flashlight, a grease pencil and a smoke pencil or incense stick. Here's what needs to be done:

  • Turn on the HVAC system.

  • Mark air leaks with a grease pencil.

  • If your ducts are insulated, look for dirt streaks, which are a sign of air leaks.

  • Inspect your ducts for obvious holes, damage, tangled ducts, disconnected ducts and loose ducts.

  • Use the smoke pencil or incense stick to find smaller holes. Hold the smoke pencil or incense at each duct connection. If the smoke swirls, you’ve found a leak. Mark it with the grease pencil.

If your HVAC professional is evaluating your attic ducts, specialized equipment is used. A blower door test pressurizes your ducts to detect leaks, and airflow is measured across the blower (i.e. pressure drop). If you want the best duct sealing, or if you're upgrading your HVAC equipment, it’s wise to bring in the pros.

Sealing Duct Leaks

Sealing air ducts can be fairly simple, or get pretty messy. It depends how air-tight you want your ducts to be. At the very least, use foil-backed tape to wrap duct joints. For the best seal, use mastic paste first. Simply apply the paste with your gloved hands or a paintbrush. Wait a day to let it dry, and then wrap each area with the foil-backed tape.

For more information about locating and sealing leaks in your Broken Arrow or Tulsa home, contact Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Kichigin/Shutterstock”


Good Ductwork Design: Some Guidelines

The way the ductwork in your house is designed is as important as the way it's built. You may not have thought about it, but good ductwork design can make a noticeable difference in your energy bills. Badly designed ductwork won't work efficiently, and it can wear out your HVAC system by making it work harder than it should. You'll also have trouble keeping your home at a comfortable temperature. 

Good Ductwork Design: Some Guidelines

Guidelines for good ductwork design:

  • The ducts should be located inside the air conditioned or heated part of the house. Ducts in the non-conditioned areas will work less efficiently. When it's necessary to install a duct in the attic or crawlspace, use an insulation with a higher rating than required. This is also important when your home has a variable-speed furnace and air conditioner.

  • All the joints between ducts need to be fastened together mechanically. They also need to be sealed with mastic (a type of putty) and fiberglass mesh. The installation crew should also check for air leakage after the install and confirm it doesn't exceed five percent of the total air flow rate.

  • Hard ductwork is preferred over flexible styles. If you're retrofitting an older house, you may need to use flexible ductwork, but it's less efficient than hard ducts and easier to damage. It's also hard to install and seal correctly.

  • Dampers (the device inside the duct that regulates airflow) work better when they're installed closer to the end of the duct instead of near the supply register. This allows you, or the installer, to more accurately balance the system. The dampers also need to be fixed in position after balancing.

  • Supply outlets (the vents that supply conditioned air) should be on interior walls so the heated or cooled air has less distance to travel.

  • If you have a larger two-story house, think about installing two separate heating and cooling systems with separate ductwork. Two systems, along with good ductwork design, will work more efficiently in two-story or large homes.

If you're building a new home, and need quality ductwork design, contact Air Assurance in Broken Arrow.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock


Ductwork Showing Its Age? Here's How to Tell It's Time for a Change

Ductwork Showing Its Age? Here's How to Tell It's Time for a Change

A very important component of your home’s forced-air heating and cooling system contains no moving mechanical parts, doesn’t require expensive energy to operate and may even elude diagnosis when there are clear signs of trouble in the form of home discomforts and high energy bills. If the temperature in your home varies significantly from one room to the next, and energy bills are suspiciously high, it may be that your home’s ductwork system is finally showing its age.

Signs of Aging Ductwork

The typical duct system is manufactured of thin metal and fabricated into square segments, fastened together with, unfortunately, duct tape. If your comfort and pocketbook are suffering, look for these signs of aging ducts:

  • Airflow – Unbalanced airflow at the registers from room to room indicates a leak, disconnection or damage, such as crushed ducts.

  • Temperature – Duct's thin walls easily transfer heat energy between the heated or cooled air inside the ducts and the spaces the ducts traverse (often unconditioned attics, basements and crawl spaces), and valuable heat energy is lost or gained.

  • Noise – Rattling and clamoring noises from the outlets, grills, ceiling, walls and floor (wherever ducts are located) are clear signs of aging duct seams that have become loosened or disconnected.

Inspecting Ductwork

A visual inspection of air ducts can often pinpoint issues. Look for these signs:

  • Leaks – Air leaks often causes dust to radiate at seams. If your ducts are insulated, look for dirty streaks of dust.

  • Disconnections – Ducts endure significant static pressure over the years, and when sealing fails, ducts loosen, disconnect and fall away.

  • Damage – Portions of duct runs may become damaged, crushed or tangled (particularly in the case of flex ducts).

Seal and Insulate

Duct leaks and loose seams should be sealed with a thick substance called mastic, and followed by wrapping seams with metal tape. All duct runs in unconditioned spaces should be insulated with fiberglass rolls or rigid board to hinder heat energy losses through duct walls. These tasks require extreme caution, as ducts are typically located in hard-to-reach locations.

For more details or assistance with your home's aging ductwork, contact Air Assurance today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock


Ductwork Redo or Replacement: Flex Metal or Rigid?

Ductwork Redo or Replacement: Flex Metal or Rigid?

It used to be that the most important rules to know about ducting were "Don’t stand on it," and "Don’t use duct tape to repair it after you do." With an increased awareness of all things efficiency-related, though, things have changed. Here in the Tulsa metro area, with a documented high of 115 degrees and a record low of minus 12 in 2011, efficient HVAC is a big deal. If you’re considering a ductwork redo or replacement, there are several factors to balance when deciding: flex metal, or rigid?Inherent ProblemsFlex duct is unarguably easier to damage, and over the years our lofts and crawl spaces see several visitors -- the cable guy, the electrician, the plumber -- to whom HVAC installations aren’t a priority.The flex duct itself, though, isn’t to blame when it’s stamped on or kicked. That said, it does have some inherent problems that are addressed by a rigid installation:• Flex fails most often where it kinks or makes sharp turns.• Long, poorly supported runs of flex duct sag, stress and separate.Rigid ducting systems, often called hard pipe, are prone to their own brand of installer pitfalls, particularly extra duct length:• If cutting-off is awkward, or just too time-consuming, unnecessary dead-end extents are sometimes capped off and left. They are vampires, silently sucking away at your energy budget.• Connections that are poorly fastened and sealed are sometimes not as easy to visually identify in a rigid installation, so can remain unattended-to for longer.Food for ThoughtHere are some factors to take into consideration when debating between a ductwork redo or replacement, particularly when choosing between flex metal and rigid (the pros and cons of are, of course, reversible):• Flex is practically impossible to clean.• Flex is less efficient at retaining the temperature changes effected on treated air.• Rigid is more time-consuming to install.• Rigid is more expensive -- often quite conspicuously so -- at initial purchase.Air Assurance maintains a staff of over 60 technicians, all fully conversant with ductwork issues. Contact us to arrange a free in-home consultation.Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock


Do It Right This Time: Good Ductwork Design for Your Renovation or New Home

Do It Right This Time: Good Ductwork Design for Your Renovation or New Home

Do It Right This Time: Good Ductwork Design for Your Renovation or New Home

Well planned and constructed ductwork is essential to the smooth operation of any HVAC system. Getting ductwork right can make a huge difference in terms of energy efficiency, with the opportunity to save 20-30 percent on heating and cooling costs.Taking basic steps like sealing ducts is pretty straightforward. But if you want to take more significant action, it can be a fairly major job. The perfect time to tackle ductwork design issues is when you are remodeling your home or building a new one.Fundamental PrinciplesSound ductwork design will give you a system which is short, as direct as possible, and within the conditioned space in your home.An ideal duct system willprovide the right amount of cooled and heated air to each room in the house.

  • be the correct size for the right levels of airflow through the system.

  • be properly sealed using materials such as duct mastic or HVAC-rated aluminium tape. This will improve energy efficiency and enhance indoor air quality.

Improvement OpportunitiesIf you are remodeling your home or building a new one, use the opportunity to take a look at your ductwork design.

  • Ideally, locate the ductwork within the conditioned space in your home. Avoid exterior walls, garages, attics etc.

  • Make sure ducts are large enough to deliver the amount of conditioned air required for each room. The size of new ductwork should comply with recognized industry standards such as Manual D, published by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA).

  • Undertake a comprehensive sealing program. Why not try out some new technology and use a latex spray to seal the inside of the ductwork?

  • Think carefully about where to locate ducts, registers, grilles and the heating and cooling systems. Put them in a central location to facilitate shorter, straighter duct runs.

Make ductwork design a key consideration in your remodel or building project, for a comfortable, energy efficient home. Contact us at Air Assurance for reliable, professional advice on all HVAC issues. We've proudly served the Greater Broken Arrow area for more than 30 years, and look forward to your call. We also are a PSO Home Performance Contractor that can get you free money towards the purchase and design of your duct and comfort system purchase!Normal0falsefalsefalseEN-USX-NONEX-NONE/* Style Definitions */table.MsoNormalTable{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;mso-style-noshow:yes;mso-style-priority:99;mso-style-parent:"";mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;mso-para-margin:0in;mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;mso-pagination:widow-orphan;font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";}

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock


Suspect a Ductwork Issue? Some Common Reasons to Call for Help

Suspect a Ductwork Issue? Some Common Reasons to Call for Help

Suspect a Ductwork Issue? Some Common Reasons to Call for Help

Airflow obstructions can occur for a variety of reasons, many of which take place where you can't see them: in the ductwork. In addition to compromising your comfort, airflow issues can lead to energy waste, which will create noticeable increases in utility expenses.If you suspect a ductwork issue, there are a few things you can check on your own. Otherwise, there are some common duct issues that will require a call to an HVAC professional.Here are some common airflow issues you can check on your own:

If these don't seem to be the cause, it could be one of the following:Leaky ducts. If your ducts haven't been well maintained, and have developed leaks over the years, your conditioned air is able to escape into unconditioned spaces before it reaches your living space. In addition to obstructing airflow, duct leaks are a major source of energy waste. Once your technician has sealed the leaks, you will notice an immediate difference in interior comfort and lower utility bills.Obstructed ducts. There are a variety of reasons ducts can become obstructed. Sometimes it is the result of pest infestations. Obstructions can be the result of construction debris, dust and other debris that accumulates over time. Interior duct insulation can eventually collapse, which can also cause obstructions. Your HVAC contractor will remove any obstructions and may need to make some repairs depending on what he finds.Disconnected ducts. Sections of ducts are joined together via a series of connectors and joints. If the connections are just beginning to separate, it can cause the air to seep out. However, a major disconnection will completely shut down your air supply.Flex duct issues. Flex ducts are a popular choice for new duct designs because they are more flexible and eliminate the need for cumbersome and inefficient joints and connections. If the flex material collapses, or becomes compromised, it will obstruct air flow.Do you suspect your ductwork may have airflow problems? Call Air Assurance for help. We have provided superior ductwork design and maintenance for our Tulsa area clientele since 1985.Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  Image courtesy of Shutterstock


Best Ductwork Designs For The Home


The best ductwork design and professional installation keeps utility bills under control, provides optimal home comfort for occupants, fosters peak performance of a multitude of systems and helps enhance indoor air quality. That’s a tall order to meet, and requires early planning in conjunction with new home construction or remodeling, and clear communication with your HVAC professional.Ductwork design: trunk and branch Trunk and branch is a common design that is adaptable to most house layouts. The trunk-and-branch system uses a large primary supply trunk connected directly to the air handler’s supply plenum. Smaller run-outs and branch ducts connect to the trunk. With a trunk-and-branch system, air streams are easily balanced, which is a boon for comfortable heating and cooling.Another very important component of this style is that trunk and branches are easily installed within the conditioned spaces of a home, which, in the event of air leaks, is important for controlling heating and cooling bills, and better indoor air quality. The downside to the trunk-and-branch system is that there are more places where air leaks may develop, so quality duct sealing is imperative.Ductwork design: radial systemWhen you think of a radial ductwork system, you may picture spokes extending out from the hub of a wheel, and you would be exactly right. A radial ductwork system does not use a main supply trunk. Instead, each branch, or run-out, extends directly from a small supply plenum at the air handler, and extends outward to the air-supply outlets. This ductwork design maximizes airflow by using generally shorter duct runs.While the radial system is typically used for single-level homes, it may be modified to accommodate a number of home designs by using parallel duct runs, as opposed to the radial pattern. The radial system, or modified radial, like the trunk and branch, is conducive to installation in conditioned spaces, such as a hang ceiling.For more details and information about ductwork design and installation, contact Air Assurance Heating, Air Conditioning, Geothermal today. We proudly serve homeowners in Broken Arrow, and throughout the greater Tulsa area.Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Image courtesy of Shutterstock


Good Ductwork Design Will Pay Off In Savings And Comfort

Good Ductwork Design Will Pay Off In Savings And Comfort

With new home construction, good ductwork design must begin with the blueprints for greatest energy efficiency, heating and cooling performance, and uncompromising comfort year after year. Follow these duct-design principles to maximize your investment.Principles of good ductwork design Balanced air flow throughout your home involves equal air movement through the supply and return ducts, which is made possible by correct duct sizing, location and sealing, and an unobstructed pathway for air circulation from registers to grilles.If these criteria are not met, problems often develop, such as pressure drops at the air handler, extra work for your heating and cooling systems, and moisture accumulation in walls, ceiling and/or floors that invites mold growth.

  • To correctly size your new duct system, Manual J and D by the Air Conditioning Contractor of America must be used. Manual J is used to calculate heat gain/loss for each room of your home. With the measurements for heating and cooling requirements in hand, your HVAC professional uses Manual D to design the size and layout of your ducts.

  • It’s important where ducts, registers, grilles and the heating and cooling systems are located in your home. The heating and cooling systems should be in a central location to allow for shorter, straighter duct runs. Registers and grilles should be installed on inner walls, preferably with a return grille in each room that contains a supply register. To minimize heat loss (wasted energy) through duct walls by conduction, ducts should be installed in conditioned areas like sealed chases, suspended ceilings, corners of rooms and raised floors. Utilize Y-branches for run-offs rather than T-branches for efficient air flow.

  • Properly sealing ductwork is an essential component for good ductwork design. Mechanically seal metal duct joints with screws and mastic sealant. Mastic sealant and compression straps are used to seal flex ducts. Install an expansion collar at the trunk and plenum to minimize stress and noise.

If you have questions about good ductwork design, please contact Air Assurance. For more than 30 years, we've provided top-quality service and installation for the Greater Broken Arrow area homeowners.Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Image courtesy of Shutterstock


3 Benefits Duct Sealing Affords

3 Benefits Duct Sealing Affords

If you have forced-air heating and cooling in your Oklahoma home, then you rely on a network of ducts to supply conditioned air to each room. Unfortunately, leaky ducts are incredibly prevalent today, a situation that can lead to 20 percent energy loss between the furnace or air conditioner and the supply vent.

The solution to this problem is duct sealing, a process completed by a professional with a product called duct mastic. Never attempt duct sealing by yourself with improper materials, such as inaptly named duct tape, because it will not hold up. There are three benefits of duct sealing that make it worth seeking out a qualified professional to complete the process for you.

  • Energy savings: This is perhaps the most prominent reason to seek duct sealing services. Energy savings directly result in lower energy bills, meaning a quality job could pay for itself in energy savings over the coming months and years. The ability to conserve energy is also beneficial to the environment. The less energy you consume to maintain a comfortable a home, the lesser the impact on the environment.

  • Comfort: Sometimes, you know your home could benefit from duct sealing because of comfort problems. A common problem is when a select room or two is particularly difficult to keep comfortable. The reason is likely that leaky ducts are delivering lukewarm air to these rooms. Sealing ducts is a way to keep heated and cooled air where you want it so it can be delivered to occupied rooms rather than leaking into the attic, crawlspace or other unoccupied space.

  • Indoor air quality: While leaky ducts waste energy by letting air out, ductwork gaps and cracks can also allow foreign air to enter the system. This introduces dust, insulation particles and even harmful chemicals into the air you breathe. Protect your family and maintain high indoor air quality with duct sealing.

If you suspect you need duct sealing in your home, you can’t ignore these benefits. Learn more by contacting Air Assurance in Broken Arrow today. Our experience dates back to 1985.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Image courtesy of Shutterstock


Does The Ductwork In Your Oklahoma Home Need Attention? The Telltale Signs

Does The Ductwork In Your Oklahoma Home Need Attention? The Telltale Signs

Without ducts, your furnace or air conditioner would be practically useless. The heated and cooled air produced by these systems could not be sent to any locations within your home. If something goes wrong within that air distribution network, your indoor comfort will suffer, energy will be wasted and you'll spend more than necessary on your utility bills. Here are some things to look for that will help you determine if the ductwork in your home needs attention.

  • Air and energy leaks: When air and energy escape from your ducts, you'll experience reduced levels of home comfort. Turning your furnace or air conditioner up to compensate will only waste more energy and cause your energy expenditures to increase. Check ductwork for loose sections; all sections must fit tightly together and be properly sealed to prevent air leaks. Reseat any loose sections and seal connections with mastic or metal tape. Standard duct tape is not recommended because the adhesive can dry out and let leaks reopen.

  • Damaged or disconnected ducts: Damaged, disconnected or missing sections of ductwork can cause major air and energy leaks. Call your local trusted HVAC contractor to inspect your ducts and repair or replace any problems areas.

  • Use of house cavities instead of actual ductwork: In some situations, crawl spaces, areas between joists and similar cavities have been used to channel airflow from the HVAC system. Doing so allows large amounts of air and energy to be lost. Actual ducts must be used to ensure conditioned air is directed into your home with the greatest efficiency and the least possible waste.

  • Uninsulated ducts: Ductwork material is relatively thin, so the chance of energy loss through the metal of the ducts themselves is high. Insulate ducts with rigid fiber board insulation, and make sure ducts are routed so that they do not travel through unconditioned areas such as garages, crawl spaces or unfinished basements or attics.

Air Assurance is a longtime provider of HVAC sales, installation and maintenance for customers in and around Tulsa. Contact us today for more information on ductwork efficiency and for expert help finding and solving problems with your ducts.Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  Image courtesy of Shutterstock


Designing A New Duct System? 3 Key Factors To Consider

Whether you intend to remodel an older home or build a new one, designing a new duct system can be an overwhelming task. You’ll have to rely on the expertise of the contractor you choose in order to have a successful outcome. And while duct design might seem boring or unimportant, it has the potential to either help or hinder your home comfort and energy savings.The one design principle that will offer optimal results? Balancing the home’s floor plan with the need for ideally located ducts. While unique floor plans might enhance the look of your home, if they’re not in line with key ductwork design principles, they’re not worth it.That’s because ducts must meet certain designations in order to function properly. These include:

  • Short duct runs – The most direct route for supply runs that start at the A/C and furnace and end in the home’s individual rooms will allow for more air delivery, which will in turn result in better home comfort and a more efficient system.

  • Return grille placement – While supply runs are critical for delivery, the entire duct system relies on a balance of supply and return air, so the position of return grilles is also critical for comfort, efficiency and a balanced home pressure

  • Duct sealing – Often one of the final steps in the process, sealing the system's connections, registers and grilles will help you to avoid energy losses

  • The use of conditioned space – By placing ducts in conditioned spaces, you reduce the process of conduction, whereby conditioned air loses a portion of its energy, resulting in lower delivery temperatures. Plus, any air that does leak out stays inside your home.

  • Insulation – Often, some portion of the ducts will need to be located in unconditioned areas. These ducts should be well insulated and use a vapor barrier to avoid condensation problems

Use these tips when designing a new duct system, and get the best possible results by contacting Air Assurance Heating, Cooling & Air Quality for help! We serve homeowners in the greater Broken Arrow area.Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. Visit our website to see our current promotions and get started today!     

Duct Sealing, Ductwork

Do You Need To Seal Your Ducts? 5 Symptoms To Look For

Do You Need To Seal Your Ducts? 5 Symptoms To Look For

Improving the efficiency of the ductwork in your home heating and cooling system is an easy and practical way to save money on your seasonal energy bills. All the conditioned air that heats or cools your house is distributed through your home’s ducts, which means that some level of energy loss in that air distribution network is almost a certainty. If you seal your ducts, you will reduce this air and energy loss, improve the unit’s operation, increase indoor comfort levels and save money on your monthly utility bills.There are five major symptoms of leaky, damaged, or inefficient ductwork:

  1. Unusually high heating or cooling bills or cost spikes not associated with increased usage or outdoor temperature extremes

  2. Difficulty heating or cooling particular rooms or areas appropriately

  3. Rooms with unpleasant and uncomfortable conditions, such as stuffiness, too much or too little heating or cooling, or increased amounts of airborne dust and contaminants

  4. Obvious damage or kinks to sections of the ductwork system

  5. Ducts located in unconditioned or minimally conditioned areas, such as garages, unfinished basements or attics, or crawl spaces

If any of these conditions exist in your ductwork, you should consider having the entire air distribution network professionally sealed. By sealing your ductwork, you will:

  • Reduce energy loss and waste of money: Leaky ducts can lose as much as 20 percent of the air flowing through them, which will make your monthly energy bills unnecessarily high. Sealed ducts lose much less air and energy.

  • Improve indoor comfort: Sealed ductwork delivers greater amounts of conditioned air throughout your house, improving your HVAC system’s performance and providing better levels of indoor heating and cooling.

  • Increase home safety: Sealed ducts leave no gaps, holes or openings where potentially harmful exhaust gases such as carbon monoxide can be pulled back into your home’s living spaces.

Air Assurance has more than 30 years of experience serving heating and air conditioning customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow areas. Contact us today for more information how to seal your ducts and how duct sealing can improve your indoor air quality and comfort while making your home a safer, more pleasant place to live.Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. Visit our websiteto see our current promotionsand get started today!     Sealing Air Leaks image via Shutterstock

Ductwork, Service & Maintenance

BBJ Freshduct Odor Eliminator -- Encapsulate Duct Odors At The Source

Every day, odor-causing materials can accumulate in our HVAC system ductwork and elsewhere throughout our home. Many of our daily activities—cooking, smoking and various hobbies—can cause lingering odors. Garbage, spoiled food, spills and plumbing problems can also create noxious odors. Even our pets can contribute to the problem.BBJ Freshduct Odor Eliminator is a gentle but effective odor-control product that can tame those persistent odors in your ductwork and elsewhere in your home. It uses no overwhelming perfumes, scented sprays or oils to mask odors. Instead, BBJ Freshduct Odor Eliminator breaks down and eliminates the material that causes the odors, removing the source of the smell and preventing a recurrence. At the same time, BBJ Freshduct Odor Eliminator releases a mild fragrance that will keep your home smelling clean and pleasant.BBJ Freshduct Odor Eliminator is specially formulated for use in lined and unlined ductwork, but it can also be used for effective odor control in other enclosed areas, such as:

  • Crawl spaces

  • Basements

  • Attics

  • Above-ceiling spaces

  • Offices

  • Hobby rooms

You can use BBJ Freshduct Odor Eliminator on many different surfaces and materials in your home. Because it’s non-toxic, you don’t have to worry about harmful effects on pets, children or other family members. Since it contains safe and biodegradable ingredients, you can apply it generously and will not need to leave your home while it works. It will also naturally break down with time. You can confidently apply BBJ Freshduct Odor Eliminator to:

  • Furniture

  • Carpeting

  • Drapes and curtains

  • Automobile interiors

  • Fiberglass insulation

  • Fabrics

Apply BBJ Freshduct Odor Eliminator during your regular furnace or air conditioner tune-ups to keep the ductwork clear of unpleasant odors. Use it when you have your ductwork professionally cleaned to add an extra source of freshness to the conditioned air flowing into your home.Contact Air Assurance today for more information on BBJ Freshduct Odor Eliminator and how it can be used to freshen and deodorize your home’s indoor air in any season. We've served heating and air conditioning customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow areas for more than 30 years.Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. Visit our website to see our current promotions and get started today!