HVAC systems offer the most efficient and effective heating and
cooling systems, be it in your home or commercial space. Therefore, in these
forced air systems, the design of the underlying ductwork plays a key role in determining
the efficiency of air distribution, maintenance of regular and unobstructed airflow,
proper dehumidification, and controlled
heating and cooling.
HVAC System Air Duct Design –
Measurements – Key factor in good air duct design for an HVAC system
First and foremost, come to the heating
and cooling calculations associated with space. That is, for any space, the
heating and cooling load calculations need to be as precise as possible to
allow the designers to get an understanding of the amount of air that needs to
be delivered to a specific area. For example, the amount of cooled air that
needs to be distributed to commercial space is much greater than you would need
for a residential room.
Building the right ducts for proper air delivery
Contractors often make poor judgment calls
on the exact sizing of the ducts which will run through your home. Therefore,
with the right measurements and load test numbers, you will be looking at a rise
in inefficiency. Therefore, getting the positions, sizes and materials of the
air ducts should be controlled and decisions need to be taken based on the
results of the testing.
affect the delivery of conditioned air to the end-points
Ducts that run longer than necessary are unable to deliver
conditioned air to the endpoints as they would have if the central ac units for
the air conditioning were closer to the endpoints. With this in mind,
having the requirements of the rooms beforehand and understanding the exact placements
of the central ac units will allow the air ducts to deliver air to the required
regions in your home more efficiently.
Sharp Bends –
Impedes air movement and drops efficiency
Sharp bends in the ductwork hinder
airflow, making it harder for conditioned air to reach the desired destination.
With this in mind, pre-planning the ductwork layout and using fewer bends to
deliver air will increase the amount of air reaching the rooms and enable
smoother airflow throughout the system.
Circulation – Contributor to uncomfortable living environments
Poorly placed exits make it a hassle for the air to be quickly recirculated back to
the air conditioning units. Therefore, with poorly planned air circulation,
you will find yourself in a room with unbalanced air pressure and possibly
musty air, making the place uncomfortable and undesirable to stay in for long
consequences of poor air duct design
Given the numbers, on average, the
ductwork in your home is only about 60% efficient. This means that air flowing
into your rooms is not representative.
Hot and cold spots start to appear around your
home due to poorer air distribution, in addition to impeded airflow.
The biggest issue is that each unit of your
central air conditioner needs to work much harder to achieve the same effect it
would have if the air ducts were more efficient. This is turn harms the
longevity of your HVAC
system resulting in more breakdowns and shorter lifetime.
Unbalanced air pressures due to poor ductwork
lead to distracting noises, leaves odors in the air longer, and makes for a
more uncomfortable living environment.
To mitigate these issues, contractors and HVAC installation
experts need to pay close attention to the locations of the HVAC units and air
ducts. Allowing only short runs and sufficient crawl spaces for air duct
maintenance will help in the long run both in terms of AC
maintenance & repair and efficient airflow throughout the premises.
Additionally, performing a detailed load calculation will help guide smarter
decisions when installing the air ducts and creating clear paths for the ducts.
Finally, the homeowner is responsible for installing sufficient HVAC units
capable of performing in the right capacity to match the air ducts and deliver
the right amount of heating and cooling to the rooms.
Check out the summary of this content here in this infographic – Basics
of HVAC System Air Duct Design [Infographic]
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