Most homeowners prioritize the efficiency of their heating and cooling systems as the key factor in lowering energy bills. And rightly so: A/C and furnace efficiency play a large role in energy consumption. However, duct design is just as critical. If your ducts leak, the system uses long duct runs or ducts aren’t insulated in key areas, you may be paying more in energy costs than you need to.
If you’re starting from scratch, laying out ductwork design in a new or remodeled home, take advantage of the opportunity to ensure that your HVAC contractor uses effective design principles. In general, the contractor should follow the Air Conditioning Contractors of America’s (ACCA) guide for planning residential duct systems, called Manual D, along with other ACCA Manuals. The methodology involves using these steps:
- Choosing the type of HVAC system for the home, according to comfort preferences, fuel availability and cost
- Assessing the best air-distribution system type for the home, choosing materials based on the HVAC equipment selected, climate needs, and home design (Use of Manual G and Manual RS aid during this step.)
- Using Manual J, the contractor calculates room-by-room cooling and heating loads, which will dictate airflow for the rooms and the duct size.
- Sizing the equipment using Manual S.
- Designing the layout of the ducts, choosing locations for the air handler, supply and return portions, duct runs, fittings and more.
- Sizing the ducts. With the previous steps completed, the contractor can then properly size the ducts, using key information like room loads, blower information, and pressure drops, as well as length of duct runs. This is where Manual D is utilized.
- Choosing and sizing the actual devices used in the air distribution system, including grilles, registers and diffusers to maintain airflow pressure and reduce noise.
- Selecting insulation for the ducts.
Taking ductwork into account during the planning phases of a home ensures optimal results, ideal home comfort, and energy efficiency. Need to prioritize ductwork design? Contact the area’s leading HVAC experts at Wolff Mechanical today! Serving Phoenix-are homeowners with quality HVAC services, ductwork design, and indoor air quality solutions.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Phoenix Valley area of Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).