5 Ductwork Design Mistakes To Avoid at All Costs

Air ducts in Puyallup, WA

If you’re planning on installing a ductwork system to support a forced-air furnace, heat pump, or central AC system in your home or business, you should know it’s a big deal. The decisions you make in the process will have ramifications that will affect your comfort for years to come. Here at Puyallup Heating & Air Conditioning, we’ve been experts in ductwork design for over 70 years. So, we’ve seen every possible configuration of ductwork you can imagine. Based on that experience, here are five ductwork design mistakes you should avoid at all costs.

1. Improper Ductwork Sizing

The most critical part of ductwork design is ensuring that your ductwork has the right capacity for the job you’re expecting it to do. That means understanding how everything from the ductwork’s material to the distance between your HVAC system and your vents will affect airflow. Getting this wrong can wreak havoc on both your home or business’s comfort and the efficiency and lifespan of your HVAC. If your ductwork’s too small, your HVAC won’t be capable of maintaining the indoor temperatures you want. If it’s too big, your HVAC will work harder than it should, leading to poor efficiency and unnecessary wear and tear.

2. Too Many Twists and Turns

Another ductwork mistake to avoid is the inclusion of too many twists and turns in your ductwork layout. Every time you include a turn in your ductwork, you affect the airflow that reaches every subsequent part of the ductwork branch. It’s better to use gradual turns where possible or to break up your ductwork design into as many straight-line branches as you can. That will ensure proper airflow and reduce the strain on your HVAC system to overcome unnecessary air resistance.

3. Excessively Long Branch Runs

You should also try to make each branch in your ductwork system as short as possible. Long branch runs will create an airflow imbalance in your home or business. That can translate into uncomfortable hot and cold spots, forcing you to run your HVAC for longer to compensate. Plus, the maximum length of your ductwork runs will affect the size of the HVAC system you need and vice-versa. So, it’s important to understand the capacity of the HVAC system you’re planning to use as you determine your optimal ductwork length.

4. Improper Return Vent Placement or Capacity

It is also crucial to design your ductwork with adequate return air capacity and properly placed return vents. This ensures that your HVAC system can draw in the air it requires to function without struggling. It also affects the airflow inside your home or business, which has a direct effect on your comfort. Plus, the number of return air vents you’re planning to install matters, too. If you’re only going to have one, it will need to be centrally located and you’ll have to keep your interior doors open as much as possible while your HVAC runs.

5. Inadequate Seam Sealing

The final ductwork design mistake to avoid is inadequate seam sealing. Since it’s impossible to eliminate seams in any type of ductwork system, it’s critical to seal every seam properly during installation. Failing to do so will allow air to leak, which will ruin the efficiency of your HVAC and affect your comfort. Experts estimate that the average HVAC system experiences energy losses of up to 30% because of ductwork leaks and convective loss. So, the better job you do sealing your seams, the more you limit those losses. It will also vastly improve the useful life of your ductwork system and avoid the need for premature replacement or repair.

Puyallup Ductwork Specialists

If you’re planning a ductwork installation for your home or business in Puyallup, WA, Puyallup Heating & Air Conditioning can help. Since 1946, we’ve been the go-to ductwork specialists here in the South Puget Sound Area. Plus, we offer comprehensive HVAC services, including installation, maintenance, and repair. We also offer indoor air quality solutions and maintenance agreements, too. And if you ever have an HVAC emergency, you can count on us to be there to help you with it, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

For your next ductwork installation project, turn to the experts at Puyallup Heating & Air Conditioning by giving us a call today!