Industry Articles From Kaempf and Harris

How To Spot Great Commercial Ductwork Design

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What makes great ductwork? A ductwork design that keeps indoor air quality high and building occupants comfortable.
Commercial ductwork needs to be top quality. Here’s Kaempf & Harris’ advice on how to spot great commercial ductwork design.
  • It’s the right size. Many contractors don't consider the type of commercial air conditioning system. They also don't consider load requirements for different rooms, the location of ducts and equipment, and construction materials.

    These factors affect the proper sizing of commercial ductwork. If these factors aren't considered, it often means the ductwork
    is undersized.

    It's best if a contractor installs a brand-new duct system with new equipment. In most buildings, the ductwork needs to be bigger than the original ductwork. This makes room for free-flowing air.

    By doing one large project, the contractor ensures that the air conditioning ductwork isn’t leaking. They also ensure that it works well with the existing cooling unit and is sized correctly.
  • The runs are the right length. During the planning phase, the location of equipment and HVAC ductwork design need to be optimized. This ensures that the equipment matches the distance to the space that needs to be cooled.

    This also increases the system’s ability to move conditioned air into hard-to-reach areas. Runs help reduce or eliminate troublesome hot and cold spots.
  • The bends aren’t too sharp. If bends in the commercial ductwork aren’t too sharp or numerous, the system increases the amount of air that reaches the space to be cooled.

    In most cases, a radial design puts the HVAC equipment in the center with ductwork radiating outward. A trunk-and-branch design also works well for commercial ductwork.
  • You saw every option. A great commercial contractor explains every ductwork and HVAC option. This can include a thick media filter, HEPA filtration, electronic air cleaner, programmable thermostat, electrostatic filter, and ultraviolet germicidal light.
  • The ducts are sealed. Properly sealed and supported ducts prevent cool air leaks into the walls. This results in comfortable building occupants - no matter the outdoor temperature.
  • Return vents are everywhere. To maintain balanced air pressure and movement, the duct system needs return and air supply vents (also called grilles). This allows air in the room to be pulled back into the HVAC system.

    Return and air supply vents should be in
    commonly occupied rooms. They should be in the ceiling or on the floor to allow the return air supply to remain unrestricted. This lengthens the lifespan of an air conditioner’s blower fan, which pulls air in.
  • Sturdy materials are used. Some contractors use flimsy tape as a temporary solution. Cheap materials cause annoying noise, excess dust, drafts, and humidity problems. Solid ductwork uses rigid fiber board, mastic (a specialized sealant for ducts), fiberglass, and metal. Ask our team
  • The workmanship is reputable. It’s possible for ducts to be assembled incorrectly, leaving air gaps and leaks. This mistake increases the energy bill because cooled air is wasted.

    A worthwhile contractor 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 the building occupants’ comfort and indoor air quality as top priorities.
Great ductwork allows commercial HVAC equipment to run quietly and smoothly. It also keeps occupants comfortable and healthy. For more on this product, download Kaempf & Harris’ Guide To Air Conditioning Ductwork by clicking on the button below:

Download The Ultimate Guide to Commercial Ductwork 

Topics: Sheet Metal Fabrication

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