Ductwork Set up Information For Householders

Ductwork Set up Information For Householders

On this useful information to ductwork set up, we’ll present you the ins and outs of putting in brand-new ductwork, adapting outdated however nonetheless helpful ductwork to an HVAC unit, and changing your return air drop, amongst different issues.

Putting in New Ductwork

designing ductwork

Of all of the sorts of ductwork set up jobs, this must be the largest, costliest possibility.

New ductwork set up can apply to a brand new home underneath building or an current system that wants changing.

When changing current ductwork with a brand new duct system, it’s typically a good suggestion to additionally do a brand new load calculation.

The outdated HVAC system might not have been sized correctly within the first place, and changing all the HVAC system once more with the identical measurement of air ducts may create the identical vary of points as earlier than.

Yet another tip: ducts are measured by the linear foot, not per “piece.”

It is because sq. duct comes as two halves, whereas spherical duct comes at lengths of pipe.

So when beginning a brand new HVAC set up or ductwork set up, all the system must be measured out in linear ft.

Why Ought to I Change My HVAC Ductwork?

new ductwork during home construction

There are fairly just a few causes to switch your own home’s ductwork system.

If the basement has unfinished ceilings, it will drastically cut back the challenge and common labor prices and permit the sheet metallic technician a greater inspection to find out precisely how a lot ductwork wants changing.

A number of examples could be:

Dusty House

Are you all the time cleansing mud off the surfaces all through your home? It is a signal your ducts are dusty each on the within and the skin.

For calmly dusty ducts, attempt contacting a duct cleansing firm. They may do a terrific job on the price of cleansing inside your ductwork and prevent on the opposite labor, provides, and prices related to changing ductwork.

Poor Airflow

That is the primary purpose for uneven or inconsistent temperatures all through your home. Airflow restrictions and leaks in air ducts could be brought on by damaged, disconnected, or undersized ductwork and needs to be repaired or changed.

Musty Odor

When moisture and humidity mix collectively, they will create mould. Ultimately, mould will give off a musty scent, which might settle into a number of areas of the home.

Duct cleansing can assist with faint musty odors; nonetheless, the one assured option to do away with these smells can be to switch that complete part with new sheet metallic ductwork.

Noisy Furnace and Air Conditioner

Has your furnace and air-con system been making odd noises? It might be your ducts and never your precise HVAC system. Free and unsecured air ducts will vibrate extra typically, so putting in ductwork and guaranteeing duct connections are sealed and correctly supported will hopefully cease these noises.

Ducts Are Previous and Broken

Ductwork is taken into account outdated after roughly 15 years of use. Relying on the standard of ductwork restore and set up, after 15 years, these ducts might be dusty or utterly falling aside.

Dents in air ducts are ugly and may probably trigger air leaks that result in airflow points, uneven temperatures, extra mud all through the home, and even creepy crawlies making a house contained in the air ducts.

Ductwork Phrases

Central HVAC system layout

Listed here are some helpful phrases to learn about your subsequent HVAC unit ductwork set up challenge.

Provide and Return Air

The availability air aspect of the HVAC duct system begins after the blower fan that circulates airflow in the home. The return air aspect brings air from every room again to the fan.

The simplest option to perceive the distinction between the 2 is the availability air is compelled out into the ducts whereas the return air is sucked again by way of the ducting into in direction of the blower wheel.


That is the biggest air duct within the system.

It sits on prime of the furnace or air handler on the warmth provide or central air-con aspect, the place the principle trunk line take-off begins. The plenum is sort of all the time a sq. ducting.

A traditional plenum measurement is approx 17.5″ x 20″ however can range for various furnace/air handler widths.

The return air drop can be a kind of plenum; nonetheless, it’s sometimes thinner and longer than the availability plenum. The commonest measurement for a return air drop is round 8″x 24″ or 10″x 24″.

Predominant Trunk

This may apply to each return and provide trunks; nonetheless, most individuals are simply referring to the availability.

These are smaller in measurement than the plenum and can sometimes go down in measurement after a sure distance with the intention to preserve air velocity constant.

They are often both spherical or sq. ducts.

Department Strains

Department strains are connected to the principle trunk line and department off to provide registers all through the home. They’re the smallest ducts, normally 5″ in diameter and all the time spherical.

Assembling Sq. Ductwork

residential ductwork

Putting in ductwork takes cautious planning and plenty of time.

It’s a tedious course of that can yield unimaginable outcomes so long as the set up is finished correctly.

Whereas doing a correct set up isn’t precisely arduous, there may be all the time the urge to chop corners to avoid wasting time. That is the distinction between an expert sheet metallic installer and a handyman.

Assembling sq. sheet metallic ducting is straightforward so long as you will have a pair of tin snips, a tin hammer, a flat-head screwdriver, a flat metallic folding bar, and a desk.

First, arrange your desk and lay half (keep in mind, sq. duct is available in two halves) on prime with the bigger aspect going through down.

Now measure the size you want and use your snips to chop right down to measurement. Repeat this step with the opposite half of the duct.

Now lay the second piece on prime of the primary piece and line up the seams; utilizing your screwdriver, gently pry the groove on the underside piece open simply sufficient so the highest seam enters.

These seams are known as Button-Lock, and once they line up, all it takes is a fast faucet with the hammer alongside the entire size, and they need to snap collectively and maintain.

Now that you’ve an entire piece collectively seize your folding bar and lay the three/8″ groove over prime of the aspect fringe of the duct. Fold this piece again 180 levels, and repeat on the opposite aspect. You ought to be left with the highest and backside 1″ tabs and either side 3/8″ tabs.

To hitch two lengths collectively, have your companion maintain the alternative finish so it doesn’t fall down, and line up the highest and backside edges with the prevailing s-cleat on the beforehand put in piece of duct.

Seize two items of drive cleat and trim them down so they’re two inches longer than the peak of the duct. For instance, in case you are putting in 24″x 10″ ducting, make each bit of drive 12″. Make a one-inch 90-degree bend on the backside of each items and slide them up the three/8″ folds on either side.

This may lock the edges collectively whereas the highest and backside are held collectively within the S-cleat. The remaining one inch needs to be poking excessive of the duct, hit it with a hammer to fold down and safe the drive cleat.

Hanging Sq. Duct

These steps could be utilized to a brand new ductwork set up or to current ductwork. The precept is identical for each.

Measure the space from the underside of the ceiling joist to the underside of the ductwork. Add two inches and minimize the drive cleat to this size.

Fold one finish out and the opposite finish the alternative approach. I like utilizing drive as a substitute of s cleat for this as a result of it’s thinner and makes a cleaner bend.

Connect the cleat to the joist beside the duct with a drill and wooden screws.

The cleat needs to be completely vertical. The underside fold also needs to be tight to the underside of the duct and could be fixed with a tin screw to 2.

These steps mixed collectively needs to be sufficient to finish an entire trunk of sq. duct set up.

Assembling Spherical Duct

As talked about earlier than, a spherical duct is put in as a department from the principle trunk to provide air to sure components of the home.

Keep in mind, it’s measured by the linear foot, typically coming in 5′ lengths. So whenever you get a value from the provider for a spherical, don’t overlook to multiply that by 5 to get the entire price.

The spherical duct is joined collectively by Snap Lock.

Ensure one finish is evenly match collectively and squeeze closed. As soon as one half snaps collectively, transfer down the pipe snapping all the best way to the top.

If you happen to haven’t finished this earlier than, it’s possible you’ll discover your forearms getting sore. That is completely regular.

Match the crimped finish into the non-crimped finish of the beforehand put in pipe, and screw in three tin screws an equal distance round. Then utilizing good high quality mastic tape (some constructing codes require it), wrap a bit across the seam.

If you happen to’re changing one small part of pipe and don’t have a lot wiggle room to insert the 1 1/2″ crimped finish, you should use one thing known as a draw band connector to carry the butt joint collectively.

Seal this joint with the identical strategies of tin screws and new tape, and don’t overlook to take away the outdated tape beforehand.

Widespread Errors

Now that you already know the fundamentals of putting in ductwork and why it is best to exchange it, we are able to go into some not-to-dos.

These typically fall underneath the class of poor planning, which is a slippery slope for an HVAC challenge of this measurement. A nasty preliminary plan will carry by way of the duct set up and most certainly gained’t be acknowledged till all of the ductwork, supplies, and HVAC tools are put in.

Dangerous Airflow

It is best to set up ductwork with the aim of utilizing as straight strains as attainable. Decreasing the variety of zigs and zags in a duct set up will create a smoother airflow which might save common prices in your vitality invoice.

Poor Sealing

Your HVAC system efficiency could be drastically elevated with correct sealing. This is applicable to sheet metallic transition gaps in addition to wherever on the ductwork system.

If you’d like your set up to look professional, use mastic and tin tape, they work the perfect for sealing leaky air joints. If you wish to appear to be an everyday Joe, use duct tape; it normally loses its stickiness and peels off inside a 12 months.

Incorrect System Sizing

Your HVAC system and residential ductwork should be sized in accordance with one another. If not sized appropriately, it’s possible you’ll expertise issues with uneven temperatures and trigger expensive injury to your heating and cooling programs.

Too Few Return Air Vents

Sizing your HVAC tools and provide ductwork correctly will create a balanced airflow all through the house. And this is applicable to the return air duct too.

Rooms in the home that want return air air flow embrace all bedrooms, the lounge, the hallway, and normally not less than one within the basement. This ensures the HVAC system can flow into air by way of all ductwork whereas heating or cooling, maintaining you comfy year-round.


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In conclusion, changing or putting in ductwork can assist householders tackle a spread of points, from mud accumulation to uneven temperatures and mould.

When contemplating changing ductwork, it is very important have an expert examine the HVAC system first and carry out a load calculation to make sure the correct measurement ducts are put in.

When discussing ductwork set up with professionals, householders ought to concentrate on phrases similar to plenum, predominant trunk, and department strains.

Though assembling sq. sheet metallic ducting could be tedious, an expert set up will lead to a extra environment friendly HVAC system and a extra comfy residing setting.

Need to be taught extra about your own home’s HVAC system? Be happy to take a look at our different HVAC articles!