How Your Duct Work Affects Air Conditioning Efficiency

From the most complex system to the simplest device, its function is affected by design.  So when it comes to Air Conditioning and HVAC systems that cool and heat your house, the design of the system affects the comfort level of your home, as well as the efficiency and how much you have to pay in order to maintain this comfort level.

Your ductwork system extending from your air conditioner, furnace or heat pump is a critical part of your HVAC system.  Also, its design has a major impact on the performance and efficiency of your cooling and heating equipment. In this article we will be discussing ductwork design so that you can better understand how your air conditioning system is affected by the ductwork, how it works with your HVAC system to maintain a comfortable environment within your home, and how it can help to improve the cooling efficiency of your air conditioner while lowering your monthly costs at the same time.

Ductwork Basics

Ductwork’s basic function is to offer a network for distributing cooled or heated air coming from your air conditioner, heat pump, or furnace.  Ductwork refers to the system of large tubes or pipes that extend from the main HVAC equipment into areas throughout your house. This ductwork is essential to ensuring that cooled or heated air gets into all of your indoor areas.  Without any ductwork, the cooled air wouldn’t have any way of traveling throughout your house.

At its most basic level, HVAC equipment creates a big air circulation system which continuously refreshes your cooled or heated air supply that maintains the indoor temperature of your home.  Cooled or heated air is produced by your HVAC unit and then powerful fans blow it inside of the supply ductwork.  This air travels along the ductwork and then exist out of the vents that are attached at various termination points.  The air enters into areas and room of your house, where it cools or heats your indoor areas as necessary. Any expended air that loses its cooling or heating energy is returned back into your HVAC system via the return ducts.  This expended air then travels down the return ducts and then back into the HVAC unit, and is then filtered and cooled or heated once again.  This cycle is then repeated, and the freshly conditioned air is returned back out via the supply ducts.

Why Duct Design Is So Important         

With a forced-air circulation system, all conditioned air affecting an indoor environment will travel via the ductwork.  That means that if the ductwork has any problems, it will affect how efficiently the air will travel and the amount that will reach the interior of your home to cool or heat it.  The condition of your ductwork as well as its design has a significant effect on how air is distributed.

If your ductwork is poorly designed, it can decrease air distribution efficiency by up to 75 percent.  Also, improperly sealed ductwork, damaged ductwork, or ductwork that is poorly designed and installed can account for a high percent of conditioned air being lost as is travels through your ducts.  When a large amount of air is lost, the following can result:

The HVAC equipment will end up struggling as it attempts to keep your house at your desired temperature.  That will increase the amount of wear and tear on the system’s parts and components and increase the likelihood of a breakdown or malfunction occurring. The lifespan of your HVAC equipment will be reduced, and you will need to have repairs performed that could have otherwise been prevented.

You will end up losing a high percentage of cooled or heated air that you already paid for.  The loss of air will result in a big loss of money and energy.  You will need to pay for more cooled or heated air in order to make up for all of the air that has been lost due to inefficient duct design or leaks.  This will increase the cost of your monthly energy bills.

Damaged or poorly designed ducts can also increase the likelihood of dangerous exhaust gases, contaminants, or particulates being pulled into the system’s air distribution network and then through to your indoor equipment.

Troubled ducts may suck fibers, mold, pollen, dust and other types of particulates into your system and then out into the air of your home, which will reduce indoor air quality.  This can threaten the respiratory health and trigger allergy or asthma attacks.

The filters on the forced-air system will get dirty faster if there are excessive amounts of these particulates, which will result in your filter needing to be changed more frequently.  Airflow is reduced in your HVAC system when you have clogged filters, and that is a major cause of system equipment malfunctions and damage.

Backdrafting may also allow dangerous gases like carbon monoxide to get pulled inside of your ductwork and then discharged inside of your house.  This is potentially lethal and extremely dangerous.

Effective Duct Design

You should have your ductwork inspected as part of your regular maintenance and take any necessary corrective measure. The condition of older ductwork should be evaluated.  Make sure that it is still working correctly. Determine its condition and age.  Be sure that it is providing a sufficient amount of airflow into your home’s rooms.  Make sure that your duct system gets tested for insulation, leaks, and efficiency, and whether or not the duct design needs to be altered.

As you can see, your ductwork can have a significant impact on the efficiency of your air conditioning and heating system.  IT is very important that the ductwork is in good condition and has an efficient design.  Otherwise, your bluon company system could run very inefficiently, which can result in lost air and money, damage your equipment, and potentially harm your health in the process.  Ductwork is easy to overlook since it is a part of the system that remains largely invisible.  However, it is essential for your ductwork to have a good design and be in great shape in order for your air conditioner to cool down your house efficiently.

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