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Air duct sizing explained

If you feel that your home is not being heated or cooled sufficiently, speak with a contractor about air duct sizing.

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Air duct sizing by Simon Blackley on Flickr.Proper air duct sizing is important. Having your air duct installed incorrectly or getting air ducts that are too small has a negative impact on the efficiency of your air conditioner and can raise your electric bill.

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Virtually all modern HVAC systems contain fans that push cool or warm air through air ducts. Learning how these air ducts work and how to install them properly can help you save on home cooling and heating costs.

If you are unfamiliar with how air ducts work, you should know that duct design and duct size are important. Air return ducts are generally located in ceilings or attics. Homes that have heating and cooling systems rely on ducts in order to evenly distribute cool air or heat throughout the home. If the ducts are too small, air condition units have to work harder to distribute air.

When you install your central air conditioner, you must install ducts if you don't have any.

If you plan to add additional rooms to your home, be sure to consider your air duct sizing. The air ducts you currently have may not be able to handle the demands required to cool or heat an additional room.

When installing air conditioners or doing home repairs, it is not uncommon for homeowners to use the same size of ducts that they already have. If you feel that your home is not being heated or cooled sufficiently, speak with a contractor about air duct sizing and whether or not the size of your air ducts have contributed to the poor flow of air throughout your home.

The overall square footage of your home also impacts the size of ducts you install. Ducts that are small in size may be sufficient for cooling a small apartment, but you should get larger ducts if you have a larger home. For example, if your home is 5,000 square feet, you would need large ducts in order to ensure the even distribution of air and heat throughout your home.

If your air ducts are too small, your air conditioner's compressor will need to work much harder, causing the energy output in your home to increase.

If you need more detailed information on air duct sizing, air conditioner prices or getting an air conditioner estimate, connect with contractors in your area. Once you have the info you need, hire the contractor that you like best.

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Photo credit: Simon Blackley via Compfight CC.