Industry Articles From the Kaempf and Harris Blog

How To Spot Great Commercial Ductwork Design

Posted by Kaempf & Harris on August 30, 2017

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What makes great ductwork? A design that keeps the indoor air quality high and your occupants’ comfortable, no matter the outdoor temperature.
Ductwork can have an enormous effect on your daily life. Because of this, you need to make sure that it's top quality. Here’s Kaempf & Harris’ suggestions on how to spot great commercial ductwork design:

  • It’s the right size. Many contractors can make the mistake of not considering the type of air conditioning system your building has, load requirements for different rooms, where ducts and equipment are located, and the materials used to construct them.

    All of these factors affect the proper sizing of your ducts, and getting it wrong often means your ductwork is most likely undersized.

    If your contractor installs a brand-new duct system when installing new equipment, you’re in good hands. In most cases, the ductwork needs to be bigger than originally installed to make room for free-flowing air.

    By doing one large project, the contractor is ensuring that the air conditioning ductwork isn’t leaking, works well with the existing cooling unit, and is sized correctly.
  • The runs are the right length. If the location of equipment and HVAC ductwork design are optimized during the planning phase, the equipment will match in distance to the space that needs to be cooled.

    This increases the system’s ability to move conditioned air into hard-to-reach areas, resulting in no troublesome hot and cold spots.

  • The bends aren’t too sharp. If the bends in the ductwork aren’t too sharp or too numerous, the system increases the amount of air that reaches the space to be cooled.

    In most cases, a radial design that puts the HVAC equipment in the center with ductwork radiating outward is a common and effective design. You can also ask about a trunk-and-branch design, which works well.
  • You’ve looked at every option. To make your commercial building more pleasant, a contractor will explain every ductwork and HVAC option to you, including a thick media filter, HEPA filtration, an electronic air cleaner, programmable thermostat, electrostatic filter, and ultraviolet germicidal light.
  • The ducts are sealed. Ducts that are correctly sealed and supported can prevent cool air leaks into the walls, resulting in consistently comfortable building occupants.
  • Return vents are everywhere. To maintain balanced air pressure and movement, the duct system needs return and air supply vents (also called grilles) for air in the room to be pulled back into the HVAC system.

    If you find return and air supply vents in commonly occupied rooms in the ceiling or on the floor, the return air supply is unrestricted. This helps lengthen the lifespan of the air conditioner’s blower fan that’s responsible for pulling air in.
  • Sturdy materials are used. Some contractors opt for flimsy tape instead of a more permanent solution like a rigid fiber board or mastic, a specialized sealant for ducts. Other cheap materials can cause annoying noise, excess dust, drafts, and humidity problems.

    Solid ductwork uses materials like fiberglass and metal. Just ask our team
  • The workmanship is reputable. It’s possible for ducts to be assembled incorrectly, leaving air gaps and leaks. This mistake increases your energy bill because cooled air is wasted.

    However, a worthwhile craftsman doesn’t take shortcuts. They don’t enclose channels between floor joists or place grilles in out-of-sight areas. Hire a contractor who puts your occupants’ comfort and indoor air quality as their No. 1 priority.

Great ductwork allows your building’s HVAC equipment to run quietly and smoothly while keeping your occupants comfortable and healthy. For more on this product, download Kaempf & Harris’ Guide To Air Conditioning Ductwork by clicking on the button below:

Download Your Commercial Ductwork Guide 

Topics: sheet metal fabrication

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