If you’re planning to build a new home, your architect should give designing the ductwork the attention it deserves. A good ductwork design will add to the energy efficiency and safety of your home. Getting the design right will save you money on up-front costs and on utility bills for as long as you live in your house.
Key factors to consider in designing the ductwork are minimizing air leaks, reducing conduction losses and maintaining proper pressure balances throughout the system. Your duct system should be sealed to keep air from leaking out of the system before it reaches the rooms it’s intended for, and to keep potentially dangerous fumes from entering the system where ducts run through spaces that might contain flue gases or radon gas. If ducts have to run through unconditioned spaces such as the attic, they should be insulated to prevent conduction of heat through the duct walls.
Maintaining the correct pressure balance throughout the system will reduce energy losses and minimize safety hazards. When the furnace or air conditioner fan is running, the pressure in the supply ducts will be higher than the pressure in the rooms, and the pressure in the rooms will be higher than the pressure in the return ducts.
Ideally, you should have a supply duct and a return duct in every room to minimize zone pressurization problems. If a room has no return duct and its door is closed, the pressure in the room will rise and cause air to leak out of the house through tiny cracks around doors and windows, resulting in energy losses. Conversely, a zone with a return duct that does not have easy access to a supply duct will have low pressure and will suck unconditioned air into the house from the outside.
When designing the ductwork for your new home, consult the professionals at Mowery Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. We have installed more than 4,000 heating and air conditioning systems in the Indianapolis area since 1970, so we know how to help you make your home energy efficient and safe for your family.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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