The secret to comfort: air distribution

 A properly designed air distribution system will allow your equipment to run efficiently and won't require an extra oversized motor that will cost more to operate. 

Posted by Grant Bowman on September 22, 2015

 When we buy a new furnace or air conditioner, we expect to get one that is built with quality and runs efficiently.  Unfortunately, the most efficient and the best quality equipment is only as good as the air distribution system it is connected to.  Your new air conditioner may be rated by the manufacturer as being an ultra-high efficiency 22 SEER system that will cost you just a few pennies a day to operate.  If you are instead spending a few dollars a day, wondering if it’s going to cool the house when it gets over 85 degrees outside, the problem most likely resides in your air duct, or air distribution system. 

Have you ever tried to fill a 5,000 gallon swimming pool with a normal garden hose? It takes about 14 hours.  The same concept applies to your ductwork; if you need to move three tons of air to cool your home, it is only going to cool as quickly as the air is able to move about the house.

Likewise, if you have a bedroom on the second floor on the opposite end of the house from the furnace, you are not going to get much cooling unless there was some thought put into the size and design of your ductwork system.  What I mean by that is: the house also has to have an actual return duct sized for proper airflow, not just the supply ducts sized properly.  They are both a necessity in order to have a functional and efficient system.

An undersized air distribution system can be made to work, but at a cost.  Not only will it result in higher energy costs, but poor sound quality, uneven comfort in all areas of the house, humidity control and equipment that will fail prematurely as well.

Remember the pool example from above? We could take that garden hose and add a pump to it.  It still won’t be able to fill the pool in 25 minutes, but we could cut 14 hours into six hours by introducing a pump, which costs electricity to operate and creates quite a bit of noise.

It’s the same with our air distribution system; we increase the blower speed to PUSH the air through the system harder and faster.  This requires more horsepower, which in turn takes more power and costs more to operate.  This extra power makes the motor work harder and fail sooner.  Not to mention the noise created in the ductwork and the drapes flying in the breeze every time the fan comes on.

A properly designed air distribution system will allow your equipment to run efficiently, and it won’t require an extra oversized motor that will cost more to operate.  It will allow air to move in a controlled manner, allowing the equipment to cycle properly and not overheat.  It will not be noisy or objectionable when it is operating, and it will make your home your favorite place to be.

Home Air Distribution System


Grant Bowman

Grant Bowman

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