I couldn't resist piggybacking on the who Star Wars movie hype we've seen over the past month or so. I understand it's opening today in theaters to a lot of fanfare.
"So May The Force(ed Air) Be With You"
Most homes in the U.S. are heated by a forced-air furnace. The typical furnace installed here in the Battle Creek area are connected to ducts that deliver heated air to registers throughout the house. Different types of furnaces are manufactured to burn a variety of fuels like natural gas and propane. The most common furnace fuel in the U.S. is natural gas; and frankly, it's been one of the cheapest sources to use.
Some homeowners avoid forced-air systems, fearing they will be noisy, create uncomfortable drafts, or spread dust throughout the house. But a well designed and properly installed system should do none of those things.
Ductwork should be part of home design
The key to an efficient system, and a comfortable house, is careful duct design and installation. The two most common problems are routing ducts through an unconditioned space, such as an unheated attic or crawl space, and failing to provide a return-air pathway from each conditioned room to the furnace or air handler. Poorly designed ductwork can result in pressure imbalances within your home, making it uncomfortable and contributing to moisture problems and high energy bills. Sealing ductwork to prevent air leaks is essential.
Keep supply ducts short and straight. Ducts with lots of twists and turns slow down airflow, increasing energy losses and lowering the performance of the HVAC system. Locating registers on interior walls can dramatically shorten duct lengths.
Balanced Systems - Provide a pathway for replacement air.
Many forced-air distribution systems create unwanted pressure imbalances within the building envelope — higher air pressure in some parts of the house, low air pressure in others. This problem can be minimized by providing adequate return ducts to move air back to the air handler or furnace.
Unbalanced HVAC systems make a house uncomfortable. Rooms with undersized returns become pressurized, forcing air into wall and ceiling cavities. During the winter, warm interior air can carry moisture into the walls where it condenses on cooler surfaces. This may lead to the growth of mold. A room with a large return-air grille but an inadequate supply-air register can become depressurized, drawing outside air into building cavities.
These problems can be avoided when the volume of air supplied by the furnace is balanced by an equal volume of air being drawn into the return ductwork.
At Sims Heating and Cooling we've seen it all. So if you have questions or need advice don't hesitate to contact us. Help is only a phone call or email away.
One last thing in the spirit of Star Wars, if you haven't seen this video from the Jimmy Fallon Show and you or your kids are fans, you'll have to check it out. Enjoy!