Winter is approaching fast, and most homeowners in Omaha and Council Bluffs are busy getting their homes ready for winter. For you, this may mean repairing your ductwork. A poorly designed or leaky duct system can significantly reduce the efficiency of a furnace. You might think you can do nothing about design flaws, but in fact you can take a systematic approach and correct some issues to boost overall performance of your duct system.


Key elements of efficient ductwork design

Duct systems should be as compact as possible, with short, straight runs. The idea is minimizing connections, along with twists and turns. Connections are common sources of air loss. Twists and turns, meanwhile, slow air delivery.

Duct location is another key element of ductwork design. Running a duct through an unconditioned attic or crawl space invites heat loss in the winter. In the summer, heat can radiate into the ducts, which are carrying cooled air.

Each room in your home should have a return-air register. For rooms that don’t, keep the doors open. As an alternative, talk with your HVAC contractor about having a through-the-wall fan installed. The fan will move air from the room without the return-air register to an adjacent room that does have one.

Key elements of ductwork maintenance

You can remedy some problems — or at least minimize them — with maintenance. Inspect your ductwork for leaks and other issues, such as crushed runs. Have your HVAC contractor replace damaged sections. He might also be able to redesign some of your system to eliminate bad turns. He might even find a blind run — a duct going to a room where a register was never installed. Believe it or not, that’s a construction error that can happen.

Seal all leaks, using mastic and mesh. Consider insulating your ductwork, as well, especially the runs that travel through an attic or crawl space.Your HVAC contractor can be invaluable here, as he can get at hard-to-reach ducts.

With an optimally performing duct system, you should see your heating bills go down. Have more questions about duct efficiency? Contact Fred’s Heating and Air. We serve homeowners in Omaha and Council Bluffs and would love to use our 25 years of experience to make your home more comfortable than you could every imagine.