air ducts

Ductwork

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.

Ductwork

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”

Ductwork

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 ducts, IAQ – Indoor Air Quality

Inspect the Ducts Now and Then To Prevent Energy Loss

Inspect the Ducts Now and Then To Prevent Energy Loss

When northeastern Oklahoma gets mentioned, it's usually the tourist industry's “Green Country Region” label which comes to mind. While heavy industry seems a bit distant from the verdant images conjured up, airborne dust and pollution are a major cause of concern, particularly in the greater Tulsa metropolitan area, of which Broken Arrow is an integral part.Why Sealed Ducts Are ImportantIn one recent study, Tulsa County ranked as one of the “Dirtiest/Worst Counties in the U.S.” in six out of the 12 categories measured. With carbon monoxide  levels high outside, it's particularly important that our indoor air quality be kept as pristine as possible.Why Duct Inspections Are ImportantOur HVAC systems do more than simply cool and dehumidify the air circulating through our homes; they also filter the air our families breath. Ductwork is the typically-hidden system of conduits and joints, snaking through your home, that move treated air from the air conditioner – and from the furnace, during the heating season – to our living space. Aside from allowing out the conditioned air we've paid for, breaches in the ductwork can also allow contamination in, undermining the efficiency of even the best air filters.Keeping the ductwork working at its optimum is thus important to both moderating utility bills and to maintaining healthy indoor air quality.What the Homeowner Can DoThere are some things a homeowner can do to inspect the ducts:

  • External Checks. When the air mover (blower) is running, look at your ducts. If you see dust or cobwebs moving, this is a sign of leakage.

  • Internal Checks. Remove the registers (vents) where treated air enters your rooms, and look inside. The presence of dust or any sign of mice, bugs or mold suggests problems.

What an HVAC Pro Can DoAs noted, most ductwork is located out of view. This can make visual inspections difficult. Professional contractors have dedicated meters and machinery, and access to technical manuals specific to your installation, that make it possible to inspect the ducts remotely. Contact Air Assurance to learn more, or to schedule 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).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Kichigin/Shutterstock”

Air ducts, Ductwork, IAQ – Indoor Air Quality

Five Steps To Maintain Ducts And Keep Them Contaminant-Free

While duct cleaning is the most thorough way to remedy contaminated ductwork, you can perform simple duct maintenance to minimize contamination and help ensure that the air you breathe is as clean as possible. Here are the top five ways to maintain your air ducts and prevent dirt from entering the system.

  1. Give the filters some attention. Never go without filters, and ensure that no gaps exist to allow unfiltered air to enter your system. Your heating and cooling systems most likely have a filter efficiency recommendation that you should heed. Change your air conditioning filter regularly throughout the seasons . If your filters become clogged faster due to pets or smoking, change the filters more regularly.

  2. Have your heating and cooling systems maintained by a professional. As an added duct maintenance effort, ask the service provider to clean the cooling coils and drain pans.

  3. Seal off ductwork during renovation projects. Construction within the walls of your home produces a great deal of dust, so it’s important to seal off the ductwork in the areas that the construction is taking place. Also refrain from operating your HVAC system until all the dust has been cleaned up.

  4. Dust and vacuum your home regularly. Vacuum first with a cleaner featuring a HEPA filter. A little while later, after the dust has settled from the activity, clean the horizontal surfaces in your home to help remove dust that could later be sucked into your ductwork.

  5. Run your humidifier as recommended by the manufacturer. Whole-home humidification is useful for maintaining a comfortable interior during the dry winter, but it should be operated correctly for proper duct maintenance.

These five tips are important for maintaining a contaminant-free duct system and keeping the air you breathe in your home as clean as possible. For more duct maintenance tips, please contact Air Assurancetoday.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!     

Ductwork

Get Central Air In Tough-To-Reach Spots Through A Ductless Mini-Split

When adding air conditioning to a new space, such as an addition to your home or a building that was not designed with central air conditioning in mind, you may find it difficult to reach some rooms with traditional air ducts. A central air conditioning system does have its limitations, especially when you are dealing with limited space available for the bulky air handler and ducts. In those cases, ductless mini-splits may provide a solution. From the outside, ductless mini-splits look like any other air conditioning system, as they utilize a single outdoor heat pump or compressor unit. And, on the inside, they also use air-handler units to cool and blow the air, just like in a central air system. The big difference is that instead of one large, central air handler, a ductless mini-split system uses multiple "mini" ones. Instead of being centrally located and distributing the air through ducts, each mini air handler is physically located at the room or rooms it is designed to cool. Since each unit can blow cooled air directly into the room, they are "ductless".The main benefit to this is that ductless mini-splits are easier to install, especially in those tough-to-reach spots. Instead of bulky ducts, mini-splits require only a thin conduit be installed to carry the refrigerant to and from the outdoor unit. The conduits can be as long as 50 feet, allowing you to reach the more distant parts of your house.Ductless mini-splits also provide better comfort, and more control. Since each room or zone has its own independently-controlled cooling unit, with its own thermostat, you can ensure there are no rooms that are too hot or too cold. This also saves energy, as you can adjust the thermostat for rooms that are not currently in use. The lack of ducts also aids in efficiency.In fact, many of these units are 30-50% more efficient than standard central units.These are great for bonus rooms, garages, patio rooms, etc.To learn more about ductless mini-splits, and whether they may be right for your home, contact the Tulsa/Broken Arrow mini-split experts at Air Assurance. We would be happy to answer whatever questions you may have.Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information, click here. Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. To get started, check out our website or see our current promotions.

Air ducts, IAQ – Indoor Air Quality, Mold, Ventilation

What Is Microbiocide (BBJ) And How Can It Help Indoor Air Quality?

Operating costs for heating and air conditioning systems continue to rise year after year. So, we make sure our homes are sealed and insulated, weatherstripped and caulked, in order to reduce the infiltration of outside air and the loss of our precious, indoor conditioned air. That saves us money; but, it also creates another problem.Indoor air quality in homes is the new problem. The air we use gets circulated and filtered and we think all is well. Filtration is a tremendous help; the problem is that mold, mildew and bacteria can live in our homes with us. As they breed, their presence can cause allergies to flair and can contribute to other, more serious, respiratory conditions. Poor indoor air quality has become the price we pay for keeping our homes tight, more comfortable and for reducing our energy costs.When pollutants and contaminants leave our home to be filtered they travel through the duct system. Not all bacteria and mold spores go to the filter. Many cling to the ducts and other components in our heating and air conditioning system. As they breed, their numbers increase and they become unwelcome guests in our homes. They can live on anything that provides a comfortable, humid environment. The biggest example of where mold growth can occur is in our air conditioning evaportator coils.  This is most likely the darkest, wettest, area in the home, which provides an ultimate safe harbor for these culprits to live, eat, and reproduce.  A product that can fight mold and mildew in our home air ducts and coils is MicroBiocide.Microbiocide is a harmless chemical thats been approved by the EPA, to help reduce mold and other contaminants in our home comfort system. A treatment with this approved organic chemical can substantially improve the indoor air quality of any home.Reducing microbial irritants in the ducts can reduce duct odors, inhibit the spread and growth of mold colonies and greatly reduce allergens in the indoor air.  Not only that, but by reducing these things that attach themselves to the coils, airflow and temperature transfer is less inhibited, therefore allowing your system to cool or heat more efficiently.Get more information on reducing mold and mildew and increasing the healthy level of indoor air quality by going here. For other information regarding the maintenance of quality indoor air for your family, log onto Air Assurance. We want everyone to enjoy both home comfort at the lowest possible cost and clean, healthy indoor air.Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information, click here. Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. To get started, check out our website or see our current promotions.