Increasing the Energy Efficiency of Your Home

Common HVAC Duct-Work Efficiency Issues and Solutions

The efficiency of an air conditioning system is determined by how well the constituent components work, which includes the duct-work. Being the veins and arteries of your air conditioning unit, duct work ensures that every room is supplied with air as required. However, if your system's duct-work is not properly installed or is not of the right size, the whole unit's efficacy would be compromised. This write-up highlights some common duct work issues that might affect the efficiency of your AC unit and how to resolve them.

Airflow Restriction -- One of the biggest problems with duct work is airflow restrictions. Several factors can affect smooth airflow through the pipes such as the duct's diameter, system design, and installation technique. For instance, if your house is a multistory building and the air supply pipes in your HVAC system have a relatively narrow diameter, the amount of air flowing through will be restricted. As such, the unit is forced to work extra hard to supply cold air to the upper floors. Consequently, a lot of energy is lost, which translates to higher energy costs. For a more efficient duct work, ensure that duct diameter matches your house's airflow requirements. If there are many bends on the supply tubes, ask your HVAC contractor to straighten them where possible so that air can flow smoothly. 

Thermal Loss -- When you start experiencing loss of heat via the cooling unit, the duct work is usually the culprit. One of the main reasons for the heat loss in the duct system is inadequate insulation. Ideally, air conditioning ducts should be properly insulated, so that little or no heat is lost before it gets to its required destination. Duct work insulating materials are made of different materials, but rigid fiberglass has proven to be the most thermal efficient of them all. However, the type of insulation material you choose for your dust system should depend primarily on the region you reside due to regional climatic differences.

Negative Pressures -- When the duct system has a leak, or its connection comes apart, the result would be negative pressure in the rooms. As a result, the HVAC system would pull outside air as well as other contaminants such as fiberglass filaments and dirt into the house. With a lot of dust entering your home, you would be forced to open the windows thereby forcing the air conditioning unit to use excess energy to cool or heat the room. Notably, ensuring that there are no leaks in the ducts and that connections are properly sealed will go a long way towards saving energy-related costs.