What is a duct system?
The duct system is a series of conduits that carry the warm and cool air from your air conditioning and heating equipment into your home and then take it back to the equipment. The ducts also control how much air is delivered to each room. The right amount of air will keep the room temperatures where they need to be. If ducts are damaged, improperly installed or the wrong size, they can cut your system’s ability to heat or cool by more than half on hot or cold days, when you need it the most. Your system may or may not be delivering air evenly Your house probably has a web of ducts weaving through your walls.
How well do my ducts work?
Ducts move air, and air is invisible. So to determine if your ducts work or not, air properties must be measured. An NCI certified contractor can measure how much air goes to each room and compare it to how much is needed. He will also take other measurements including temperatures and pressures to determine how well your ducts work. Then your contractor will review the results of the test with you.
Can my ducts be fixed?
The typical duct renovation includes removing damaged ducts, straightening them, adding proper suspension and sealing all the joints. Sometimes larger ducts need to be installed to certain rooms or the registers and grilles need to be replaced. Your contractor should review the test results with you and make recommendations for duct repairs or additions. Other improvements might include adjusting fan speeds or improving your air filtration system.
What should I expect from my heating/cooling contractor?
An NCI-certified contractor will first ask you questions about the system, what you like and don’t like about it, problem areas, air quality concerns, health issues, etc. He should then perform some preliminary testing to determine the condition of your system, the biggest problem areas, and so forth. This is generally performed using several instruments including a manometer which measures your systems pressure, much like a doctor checks blood pressure. He will typically measure the amount of air coming out of each vent with a special instrument called a “Flow Hood.” Other measurements might include temperature, humidity and carbon monoxide testing.