5 HVAC Ductwork Basics to KnowA quick look at HVAC ductwork basics can help optimize your home’s comfort and efficiency, as well as explain certain common problems. The ductwork that conveys cooled and heated air is a vital component to keep temperatures consistent throughout the house. No matter how effective your air conditioner and furnace units may be, if the ductwork they are connected to isn’t fully functional, you won’t receive the performance you expect.

Here are five HVAC ductwork basics to be aware of:

  1. In a single-family home of average size, the HVAC ductwork distributes more than 2,000 cubic feet per minute of conditioned air. The system is carefully balanced so the airflow volume entering each room through supply vents is approximately equal to the air volume leaving through return ductwork.
  2. Rigid ductwork is fabricated from sheet metal. Flexible duct is made from a wire coil covered with plastic. Most residential ductwork is unseen—routed through the attic or the crawl space and installed inside wall cavities.
  3. Supply ductwork delivers cooled or heated air from the A/C or furnace to living spaces throughout the house. Supply air enters individual rooms through a supply vent grille typically located on the upper portion of a wall near the ceiling.
  4. Return ductwork draws air out of rooms and conveys it back to the air handler to be cooled or heated again by the A/C or furnace. A return vent may be located in every room, usually on the lower portion of a wall near the floor, or there may be a single central return vent in a location such as a hallway.
  5. Common duct issues include air leaks and thermal loss/gain. Leakage of conditioned air degrades indoor comfort and raises monthly operating costs. Professional duct pressure testing and sealing can restore full efficiency. When ducts are exposed to temperature extremes in unconditioned areas of the house, excess heat loss or heat gain may impact heating/cooling performance. Insulating ducts routed through these zones usually resolves the issue.

To get professonal advice about HVAC ductwork basics, contact the experts at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.