Better Duct Systems for Home Heating and Cooling. Building Technologies Program

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Duct systems used in forced-air space-conditioning systems are a vital element in home energy efficiency. How well a system works makes a big difference in the cost and effectiveness of heating and cooling a home. At the same time, a poorly-designed/maintained duct system can have a detrimental effect on the health of the home's occupants through the unintended distribution of indoor air pollution. Some tips for better duct efficiency include:

  • Ducts placed within the conditioned space with no hidden leakage paths
  • Insulate ducts outside the conditioned space, perferably to R-8
  • Minimize the surface area of ducts outside the conditioned space through good routing, use of low-loss fittings and placement of registers near interior walls
  • Specify suitably low levels of duct air leakage and include a post-installation leakage test in the construction plan

It's important to note that proper duct placement is not only more efficient and can save money on your monthly bills, it's also healthier.


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