A majority of homeowners think that system efficiency is entirely dependent on the rating provided by the manufacturer. This has led to homeowners buying expensive units with high AFUE, SEER, and HSPF ratings. While this is important, many of these systems fail because of factors beyond the unit.
The ductwork in your home plays a crucial role in delivering conditioned air from the whole home HVAC system straight into your indoor spaces. When the ductwork is in bad shape, the benefit you could have reaped from energy efficiency is lost.
Having a solid ductwork gives assurances of both comfort and efficiency. When you find energy bills higher than you would ordinarily expect, the problem could be your ductwork and not the HVAC system.
Energy Star has it that inefficient ductwork can cost your system energy loses of anything between 20 and 30%. In case you are wondering how this happens, the following are some of the ways through which ductwork can reduce the efficiency of whole home air conditioning systems.
Poor Ductwork Design
Poor designing on your ductwork prohibits conditioned air from being effectively distributed throughout your home. This causes your whole home HVAC system to overwork and run much longer cycles to compensate for this. Eventually, this causes wear and tear and huge energy consumptions.
Leakages on your ductwork causes conditioned air to escape thus limiting the quality of air in living areas. Broken and leaking connections are the leading causes of air escapes. Duct leaks contribute largely to poor indoor air because the leakages allow contaminants to enter and circulate in your home.
Typically, ductwork is installed within walls, in ceilings, and between floors. These unconditioned areas normally affect the temperature of the ducts. Since the ductwork is typically made of sheet metal, it affects the temperature of the conditioned air passing through the ducts hence causing energy loss.
How to Improve the Ductwork
The ductwork should be inspected by a qualified HVAC contractor before installing the whole home HVAC system. Where need be, repairs and renovations should be done to set the environment right for the HVAC unit.
Some of the work to be done on ductwork involves:
- Duct sealing
- Duct insulation
- Duct renovation
All these services will help improve on the design of the duct and any inefficiencies that they may have. Duct renovation in particular involves increasing the size of your ducts as well as installing additional duct runs that supply your home properly.