There’s a lot of thought that goes into ductwork, whether you’re repairing or replacing an old system or installing ducts in a new building.
Ducts that are too large or too small will hurt the system’s efficiency rather than improve it.
And you want to be sure the job is done right. Leaks are costly.
Per the U.S. Department of Energy:
“Ducts that leak heated air into unheated spaces can add hundreds of dollars a year to your heating and cooling bills, but you can reduce that loss by sealing and insulating your ducts. Insulating ducts in unconditioned spaces is usually very cost-effective. Existing ducts may also be blocked or may require simple upgrades.”
What are ducts?
Ducts can be made of fiberglass, sheet metal or other materials. They are incorporated into a network that funnels heated or cooled air to each room.
Selecting the right size takes some significant calculation lest you waste energy and pay higher power bills.
Getting ducts right
Think of Goldilocks. You want ducts that aren’t too big or too small. You want them just right for you and your family or business.
Ductwork that is too small will reduce the airflow and make your system work harder to deliver the air you want. This means higher energy bills and a shorter life expectancy for your heating and cooling system. In addition, undersized ducts often add to the noise level.
Ducts that are too large will waste energy because, while they deliver air to your rooms, they also hold too much heated or cooled air because they’re so big. That’s not energy-efficient.
How to get ducts right
Selecting the right size ductwork takes some calculation.
Do you know the square footage of your home and the square footage of each room to be cooled or heated? For every 500 square feet, plan a ton of air conditioner capacity.
Then you need to deal with more complex issues:
• Cubic feet per minute (CFM) is a measurement used to calculate the velocity of the air you want to cool or heat each room.
Smaller ducts mean less air; larger ducts mean more air.
Because the size of your ductwork can lower or increase this measurement, you need to calculate this measurement for each room.
• Friction loss rate of ductwork is a measurement that establishes the best static pressure for your unit. It also helps determine airflow.
To determine the friction loss rate, you need to assess several factors – the length of each duct, how many turns the ductwork takes, and the amount of registers, grills, coils and other equipment.
If done correctly, these calculations will determine the right amount of airflow and the proper size of the ducts for your building.
No D-I-Y job
Installing ductwork clearly is far more complicated than the average do-it-yourself project. A well-equipped contractor can use special tools to make all the necessary measurements as precisely as possible.
When selecting a contractor, be sure to hire a licensed company that has experience installing ducts and that guarantees its work.
The experienced, licensed technicians at Premier HVAC know how to install the best ductwork and heating, ventilation and air conditioning system for your budget. We guarantee their work!
Our locally owned company serves Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Long Island.