Aggressive Mechanical, Inc

Basic Principles of HVAC Air Duct Design

07 Apr
Basic Principles of HVAC Air Duct Design

The majority of heating and cooling systems in Monmouth County require some type of duct network to convey conditioned airflow through the home. The efficiency and soundness of duct design and how it affects conditioned air distribution makes a substantial difference in energy bills and comfort. So, it’s essential to get HVAC air duct design right.

Building Ducts

  • Materials: There are many different materials available for ductwork. Sheet metal is still the most popular, but many builders are using flex ducts more. Flex ducts are pre-insulated, which helps minimize heat gain/loss. Sheet metal ducts convey airflow more smoothly, and don’t damage as easily as flex ducts. Whichever duct material you select, use approved duct materials throughout the home, and don’t use building cavities.
  • Location: Ducts are prone to heat gain/loss when exposed to temperature extremes in the basement and attic. When it is possible, locate ducts in conditioned spaces of the home. Sealed chases and raised floors work well. If ducts must be located outside the insulation barrier, make sure the ducts are insulated with rigid fiber board or fiberglass rolls (i.e. for sheet metal ducts).

Airflow Principles

  • Balanced airflow: Ducts should be designed to balance airflow on both the supply and return side. Unbalanced air pressure promotes air infiltration through the home’s envelope, degrades comfort and increases energy bills. The blower motor may also suffer damage if a negative pressure exists on the return side.
  • Duct dampers: Make sure your HVAC pro installs manual duct dampers at the trunk and branch take-offs. This allows fine-tuning of air distribution for maximum efficiency.
  • Duct sealing: Duct connections need to be tightly sealed, or air leaks soon develop. Mastic and aluminum tape are the right materials for sealing. Metal ducts may also be mechanically sealed with screws. Flex ducts benefit with compression collars.

If you’re upgrading cooling and heating equipment in your Monmouth County home, make sure the HVAC air duct design meets modern standards. For exceptional service and installation, contact the experts at Aggressive Mechanical Contractors Inc. for an HVAC evaluation.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Dirk Ercken/Shutterstock”

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