When building a new home, homeowners have the exciting task of picking out counter tops, paint colors, plumbing fixtures and more! Although the homeowner may feel highly involved in the building plans because of these fun decisions, they may get left out of important layout decisions. Now, I’m not talking about floor plan layouts, I’m talking about the ductwork layout. Oh, I hope I didn’t lose most of you after the last sentence because this is very important stuff that can save you on average 60% on heating and cooling costs!
Did you know that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) performed a study* that found 4 out of 10 newly custom U.S. homes are built with improper HVAC systems? If 4 out of 10 newly built homes have improper HVAC systems, then how many existing homes do not have properly installed ductwork? Having a proper duct system layout can impact your family in many ways, which include:
- Home Comfort
- Energy Costs
But, you may ask: how can I protect myself from having an improper installation of an HVAC system if I don’t know much about HVAC?
There is a non-profit association that writes guidelines and standards to promote energy efficiency, healthy, and comfortable indoor environments. Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) is a group of 60,000 professionals and 4,000 businesses in the indoor environment and energy services community that is the leading indoor environment contracting association. You can review the standards with your builder at this link here: http://www.acca.org/standards/quality
How does your home stack up to the standards? Check out a few of the differences between a good and bad install:
The good vs. The bad
- Furnace supported by furnace legs vs Furnace supported by bricks
- Unit has a filter cabinet vs Lacking a filter cabinet
- Furnace is centered with ductwork vs Furnace is not centered with ductwork
- Properly connected flue pipe vs Flue pipe is not completely connected
- Energy efficient system vs Non-energy efficient system
After getting the layout of the ductwork in correctly, new homeowners should take the extra step to prevent air loss through the ductwork with a whole home duct sealing. The extra step will save you, even more, money on your energy bills! Check out this blog about how an AeroSeal is performed, use the utility calculator to see how much a duct sealing could save you.
*Study can be found here