Ductwork Set up Information For Owners

Ductwork Set up Information For Owners

On this useful information to ductwork set up, we’ll present you the ins and outs of putting in brand-new ductwork, adapting previous 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 forms of ductwork set up jobs, this needs to be the largest, most costly choice.

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

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

The previous HVAC system might not have been sized correctly within the first place, and changing the complete HVAC system once more with the identical measurement of air ducts might 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, the complete system needs to be measured out in linear toes.

Why Ought to I Substitute My HVAC Ductwork?

new ductwork during home construction

There are fairly a number of causes to switch your own home’s ductwork system.

If the basement has unfinished ceilings, this may drastically scale back the undertaking 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 House

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

For frivolously dusty ducts, attempt contacting a duct cleansing firm. They are going to do an important 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 cause 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 must be repaired or changed.

Musty Scent

When moisture and humidity mix collectively, they’ll create mildew. Ultimately, mildew will give off a musty odor, which may settle into a number of areas of the home.

Duct cleansing may also help with faint musty odors; nonetheless, the one assured option to do away with these smells could be to switch 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 may very well be your ducts and never your precise HVAC system. Unfastened and unsecured air ducts will vibrate extra usually, 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 previous after roughly 15 years of use. Relying on the standard of ductwork restore and set up, after 15 years, these ducts may very well be dusty or utterly falling aside.

Dents in air ducts are ugly and may doubtlessly 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 find out about your subsequent HVAC unit ductwork set up undertaking.

Provide and Return Air

The availability 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 option to perceive the distinction between the 2 is the provision air is pressured out into the ducts whereas the return air is sucked again via the ducting into in direction of the blower wheel.


That is the most important 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 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 sort of plenum; nonetheless, it’s sometimes thinner and longer than the provision plenum. The commonest measurement for a return air drop is round 8″x 24″ or 10″x 24″.

Fundamental Trunk

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

These are smaller in measurement than the plenum and can sometimes go down in measurement after a sure distance as a way to hold air velocity constant.

They are often both spherical or sq. ducts.

Department Strains

Department strains are connected to the primary 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 many time.

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

Whereas doing a correct set up isn’t precisely onerous, there’s all the time the urge to chop corners to save lots of time. That is the distinction between an expert sheet steel installer and a handyman.

Assembling sq. sheet steel ducting is simple so long as you may 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 dealing with down.

Now measure the size you want and use your snips to chop all the way down to measurement. 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 affix two lengths collectively, have your associate 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, if you’re putting in 24″x 10″ ducting, make every 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.

It will lock the perimeters collectively whereas the highest and backside are held collectively within the S-cleat. The remaining one inch must 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 similar for each.

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

Fold one finish out and the opposite finish the alternative approach. 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 must 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 must be sufficient to finish a complete 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 primary trunk to provide air to sure elements of the home.

Bear in mind, it’s measured by the linear foot, usually coming in 5′ lengths. So once you get a value from the provider for a spherical, don’t overlook to multiply that by 5 to get the full value.

The spherical duct is joined collectively by Snap Lock.

Be 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 tip.

In the event you haven’t completed this earlier than, chances are 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.

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 overlook to take away the previous tape beforehand.

Widespread Errors

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

These usually fall underneath the class of poor planning, which is a slippery slope for an HVAC undertaking of this measurement. A nasty preliminary plan will carry via the duct set up and more than likely gained’t be acknowledged till all of the ductwork, supplies, and HVAC tools are put in.

Dangerous Airflow

You need to set up ductwork with the purpose of utilizing as straight strains as doable. Lowering 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 would like 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 normally loses its stickiness and peels off inside a 12 months.

Incorrect System Sizing

Your HVAC system and residential ductwork must be sized in accordance with one another. If not sized appropriately, chances are you’ll expertise issues with uneven temperatures and trigger expensive harm to your heating and cooling methods.

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 normally a minimum of one within the basement. This ensures the HVAC system can flow into air via all ductwork whereas heating or cooling, maintaining you snug year-round.


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In conclusion, changing or putting in ductwork may also help owners deal with a variety of points, from mud accumulation to uneven temperatures and mildew.

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

When discussing ductwork set up with professionals, owners ought to pay attention to phrases similar to plenum, primary trunk, and department strains.

Though assembling sq. sheet steel ducting could be tedious, an expert set up will end in a extra environment friendly HVAC system and a extra snug 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!