Best Duct Design: Some Principles for Your Redo or New HomeHomeowners everywhere are searching for ways to create greater energy efficiency in their household’s HVAC systems. When HVAC equipment operates efficiently, it saves residents on energy costs, reduces general wear and tear and contributes to a healthier environment.

While there are many ways to improve the energy efficiency in your Los Angeles home, one of the better ways to enhance the performance of your HVAC equipment is through better duct design.

As conditioned air – air that has been filtered, heated and/or cooled – leaves your heating or cooling equipment, it gets pushed through your air ducts and distributed to the many living spaces in your home. As this air travels, it loses heat energy. By decreasing this energy loss, you lower the risk of having hot and cold spots, improve your air quality and reduce the amount your HVAC equipment has to work to meet heating and cooling loads. This in turn improves overall airflow and distribution.

Creating good duct design is about focusing on how to minimize energy loss. Many older homes, and some newer constructions, have ductwork systems that are too large with excessively twisting and lengthy segments, inefficiently designed off-branches and registers unable to facilitate optimum airflow balance.

A good duct design plan focuses on transferring conditioned air as directly as possible from the central HVAC equipment to your indoor environment. It is also important to include a balanced air return system.

The most commonly used and effective ductwork designs are known as the truck and branch system and the radial system. In the truck and branch system, a large main duct is the only segment connected to the air handler. Smaller duct segments branch off this main conduit to transfer conditioned air to separate zones. In the radial system, multiple short ducts are connected to the air handler to maximize air flow. The radial system tends to work best in single-story homes that have a centralized air handler.

To learn more about duct design, contact your local HVAC experts at Around the Clock Air Conditioning and Heating, Inc, proudly serving Los Angeles and North Hollywood residents.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Los Angeles, North Hollywood and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about duct design and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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