duct sizing

The process of sizing ducts is not an educated guess. There are guidelines and considerations to consider to ensure an HVAC system delivers maximum energy efficiency and airflow. Plus, improper commercial or residential duct sizing will only lead to problems for your system down the road.

Heating and cooling is a sizeable part of your home’s energy expenditure. Having ducts that function seamlessly together will keep your energy bills to a minimum without sacrificing comfort. That’s why it is essential to get the job done right when sizing, installing, or repairing air ducts.

When you need your air ducts taken care of, the team at USA Home Improvement has you covered. Have questions about your air ducts? Call us at (844) 468-7244 today.

The Problem with Under and Oversized Ducts

The world of air ducts faces the Goldilocks problem. Air ducts that are too big or too small for your system won’t do. You need ducts that fit just right.

If the ducts are too small, the airflow will be unevenly distributed through them. That is because an undersized duct will cause a build-up of pressure near the air handler and fill the tubes closest to the hub. Subsequently, the HVAC unit may experience shorter on/off cycles, use more energy, emit loud noises and require frequent air duct cleaning services.

Oversized ducts result in the opposite problem. Instead of flooding the nearest tubes with air, the rate of airflow is too slow. This lack of movements results in a decreased discharge rate of air into each room, which directly impacts the comfort level indoors.

Things to Consider When Sizing Your Ducts

There are a couple of things to consider when sizing your ducts, whether for a residential or commercial property. Foremost, the ducts should always be sized to the capabilities of the HVAC system, not the other way. Here are a couple of additional duct sizing rules of thumb:

  • Use an HVAC Duct Sizing Calculator – This method is the easiest way to find the proper duct size for a room. The calculator can use different inputs, such as velocity and diameter, to produce measurements. Note that the width of the duct depends on the size of the room being heated or cooled.
  • Measure the Area of Your Rooms – The size of your rooms is one of the most important measurements when it comes to duct sizing. These numbers inform the amount of airflow that the HVAC unit should distribute around the house. Having accurate square footage of each room will do.
  • Know Your CFM or Cubic Feet Per Minute – Airflow is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). This number determines how much air needs to reach equipment, such as supply and return ducts, for the system to function correctly. Here is what you need to do to calculate CFM. Multiply the CFM output by the number of tons of your HVAC system. Then divide the answer by the square footage of your home. Here is a CFM calculator just in case. The tonnage of your system is often printed on your unit.
  • Determine the Heating and Cooling Requirements of Each Room – Not all rooms are made equal. Some spaces have better natural exposure to sunlight, and as a result, need less heating capacities. Similarly, there may be frequently used areas, such as the kitchen or living room, that deserve your HVAC system’s full attention. The heating and cooling requirements depend on the room itself. For instance, one room may have a 150 CFM while another has a 250 CFM. Add these numbers together in your final calculations as the diameter of the duct is based on that figure.
  • Secure Duct Connections – The connections between your pipes are the unsung hero of your heating and cooling system. Having joints that fit together securely will go a long way towards optimizing your energy usage. If your home has complicated or antiquated ductwork, this part of the job is typically best turned over to professionals.

Quality Ductwork Installation

Getting the proper airflow to each room in your home is an essential part of maintaining a comfortable environment and efficient system. Many factors must dictate duct sizing from the layout of the air ducts to the HVAC systems capabilities to the square footage of the home. Make sure you get the heating and cooling you need by contacting the experts at USA Home Improvement.

We proudly offer comprehensive heating and cooling sales, service, installation, and maintenance. With our high-quality and long-lasting craftsmanship, it is easy to see why so many homeowners trust us with their HVAC system needs. If you have any questions or need one of our specialists to inspect your ductwork, call us at (844) 468-7244 today. We look forward to assisting you in optimizing your air duct system, making it safer, saving you money, and helping the environment in the process.