Why Ductwork Design is Important to Home Comfort and Energy Savings

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Duct in Attic

Ductwork might seem simple. After all, it’s just a system of pipes carrying air from your A/C to your living room, right? While that’s basically true, there can be quite a few pitfalls that should be avoided when designing ductwork.

Otherwise, your home comfort will suffer, and you might end up paying extra on your monthly cooling bill. That doesn’t sound appealing, does it?

So what are some of the potential pitfalls of ductwork design?

  • Excessive air leakage: Unfortunately, leaky ductwork is quite common. Sometimes this is due to improper sealing and insulation techniques, and sometimes it’s just a problem that develops over time. Luckily, these problems can usually be fixed with a little duct mastic or metal-backed tape.
  • Insufficient insulation – Ideally, ducts should be installed in conditioned areas of the home to reduce the need for insulation, but that’s not always possible. If ducts must run through unconditioned areas such as a garage, attic, crawl space or basement, they need to be properly insulated.
  • Unbalanced airflow – This occurs when the air coming out of your supply registers doesn’t have a clear enough path to the return grilles. This causes pressure differences to develop in your house, which can increase drafts and create hot and cold spots. Door and wall grilles can be installed to remedy problems with existing ductwork, but for new designs, including a return grille in every room that has a supply register is recommended.
  • Too many turns – To ensure central heating and A/C efficiency, duct runs should be kept as short and direct as possible. You don’t want unnecessarily long stretches of ductwork or too many twists and turns. These issues make it harder for the air handler to move air through the ducts. This not only puts a strain on your system, but it compromises your comfort and your energy budget.
  • Improper ducts – Proper airflow is hard to achieve if air is directed through wall voids or building cavities instead of well-designed air ducts. Building cavities are also hard to sufficiently seal against air leakage, and they can contain contaminants (such as mold) that you’d rather not have blowing into your family room.

If you suspect your ductwork design to be less than ideal, don’t despair! We’re here to answer your questions and to help you get your ducts in a row! Contact us today at Scott’s Heating & Air Conditioning.


Scott’s Heating & Air Conditioning is a full-service heating and air conditioning company and a Bryant® Factory Authorized Dealer in Central Florida. Whether you need repair, maintenance, or installation of a new heating or cooling system, we provide efficient, cost-effective, and professional service. When it’s hot, call Scott!

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