Ductwork Set up Information For Owners

Ductwork Set up Information For Owners

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helpful information to ductwork set up, we’ll present you the ins and outs of putting in brand-new ductwork, adapting outdated however nonetheless helpful ductwork to an HVAC unit, and changing your return air drop, amongst different issues.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

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

When changing present ductwork with a brand new duct system, it’s usually 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The outdated HVAC system might not have been sized correctly within the first place, and changing the whole HVAC system once more with the identical dimension of air ducts may create the identical vary of points as earlier than.

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

It’s 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, the whole system must be measured out in linear toes.

Why Ought to I Exchange My HVAC Ductwork?

new ductwork during home construction

There are fairly just a few causes to interchange your private home’s ductwork system.

If the basement has unfinished ceilings, this may drastically scale back the venture and common labor prices and permit the sheet steel technician a greater inspection to find out precisely how a lot ductwork wants changing.

A number of examples could be:

Dusty Dwelling

Are you all the time cleansing mud off the surfaces all through your own home?

This can be a signal your ducts are dusty each on the within and the skin.

For evenly dusty ducts, strive contacting a duct cleansing firm.

They’ll do an incredible 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 own home.

Airflow restrictions and leaks in air ducts could be attributable to damaged, disconnected, or undersized ductwork and ought to be repaired or changed.

Musty Odor

When moisture and humidity mix collectively, they’ll create mould.

Finally, mould will give off a musty scent, which may settle into a number of areas of the home.

Duct cleansing might help with faint musty odors; nevertheless, the one assured technique to do away with these smells could be to interchange that complete part with new sheet steel ductwork.

Noisy Furnace and Air Conditioner

Has your furnace and air con system been making odd noises?

It could possibly be your ducts and never your precise HVAC system.

Free and unsecured air ducts will vibrate extra usually, so putting in ductwork and making certain 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 could possibly be dusty or fully falling aside.

Dents in air ducts are ugly and might 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 below are some helpful phrases to learn about your subsequent HVAC unit ductwork set up venture.

Provide and Return Air

The provision air facet of the HVAC duct system begins after the blower fan that circulates airflow in the home.

The return air facet brings air from every room again to the fan.

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


That is the biggest air duct within the system.

It sits on high of the furnace or air handler on the warmth provide or central air con facet, the place the primary trunk line take-off begins.

The plenum is nearly all the time a sq. ducting.

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

The return air drop can be a sort of plenum; nevertheless, it’s usually thinner and longer than the provision plenum.

The commonest dimension for a return air drop is round 8″x 24″ or 10″x 24″.

Principal Trunk

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

These are smaller in dimension than the plenum and can usually go down in dimension after a sure distance as a way to preserve air velocity constant.

They are often both spherical or sq. ducts.

Department Traces

Department traces are connected to the primary trunk line and department off to produce registers all through the home.

They’re the smallest ducts, often 5″ in diameter and all the time spherical.

Assembling Sq. Ductwork

Ductwork repair

Putting in ductwork takes cautious planning and many time.

It’s a tedious course of that may 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 knowledgeable sheet steel installer and a handyman.

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

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

Now measure the size you want and use your snips to chop right down to dimension.

Repeat this step with the opposite half of the duct.

Now lay the second piece on high 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 a complete piece collectively, seize your folding bar and lay the three/8″ groove over high of the facet fringe of the duct.

Fold this piece again 180 levels, and repeat on the opposite facet. You ought to be left with the highest and backside 1″ tabs and each side 3/8″ tabs.

To hitch two lengths collectively, have your accomplice maintain the other finish so it doesn’t fall down, and line up the highest and backside edges with the present 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, if you’re 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 both sides.

It will lock the edges collectively whereas the highest and backside are held collectively within the S-cleat.

The remaining one inch ought 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 present ductwork.

The precept is similar 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 other method.

I like utilizing drive as an alternative 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 ought to be completely vertical.

The underside fold also needs to be tight to the underside of the duct and could be mounted with a tin screw to 2.

These steps mixed collectively ought to be sufficient to finish a complete trunk of sq. duct set up.

Assembling Spherical Duct

residential ductwork

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

Bear in mind, it’s measured by the linear foot, usually coming in 5′ lengths.

So while you get a worth from the provider for a spherical, don’t neglect to multiply that by 5 to get the entire price.

The spherical duct is joined collectively by Snap Lock.

Make certain 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.

In the event you haven’t achieved this earlier than, you might 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.

In the event you’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 neglect to take away the outdated tape beforehand.

Widespread Errors

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

These usually fall beneath the class of poor planning, which is a slippery slope for an HVAC venture of this dimension.

A nasty preliminary plan will carry by way of the duct set up and almost definitely 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 traces as potential.

Decreasing the variety of zigs and zags in a duct set up will create a smoother airflow which may 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 steel transition gaps in addition to wherever on the ductwork system.

If you need your set up to look professional, use mastic and tin tape, they work one of the best for sealing leaky air joints.

If you wish to appear like an everyday Joe, use duct tape; it often loses its stickiness and peels off inside a yr.

Incorrect System Sizing

Your HVAC system and residential ductwork must be sized in accordance with one another.

If not sized accurately, you might expertise issues with uneven temperatures and trigger pricey injury to your heating and cooling techniques.

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 embody all bedrooms, the lounge, the hallway, and often at the very least one within the basement.

This ensures the HVAC system can flow into air by way of all ductwork whereas heating or cooling, retaining you comfy year-round.


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In conclusion, changing or putting in ductwork might help householders handle a variety of points, from mud accumulation to uneven temperatures and mould.

When contemplating changing ductwork, you will need to have knowledgeable examine the HVAC system first and carry out a load calculation to make sure the right dimension ducts are put in.

When discussing ductwork set up with professionals, householders ought to concentrate on phrases resembling plenum, principal trunk, and department traces.

Though assembling sq. sheet steel ducting could be tedious, knowledgeable set up will end in a extra environment friendly HVAC system and a extra comfy residing atmosphere.

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