Part 1 – Air Handler
The air handler is the part of the HVAC system that creates the hot and cold air.
Part 2 – Ductwork
HVAC systems distribute the air through the duct system.
Part 3 – Building Envelope
HVAC systems store the air in the building, this is called the building envelope.
Are your ducts and heating unit in an unconditioned area of the home?
Located in the humid Southeast US, residents in Asheville and other areas of Western North Carolina encounter heavy heating and cooling needs. Most houses in this area have HVAC units located in unconditioned spaces of the home (such as attics, crawlspaces and basements). If ductwork is located outside the building envelope it is exposed to harsher conditions making it very important that the duct system delivers the conditioned air to the home in an energy efficient manner.
Why you should be thinking, “We should improve our ductwork before considering a new furnace or heat pump.”
Many of our clients in Asheville have already considered the installation of new high-efficient furnace or heat pump for thousands of dollars. Often we find those who payed for a high-efficient furnace to be installed on a system of unbalanced and unsealed ductwork. Without properly sealing ductwork with mastic and reducing unnecessary duct runs often times one will not accrue any energy savings from installing a high-efficient HVAC unit. So, if you want to start saving energy, start with the ductwork, not with the furnace. If you started with the furnace, fear not, have one of our experienced Building Performance Analysts perform and energy audit or inspect your ductwork for remediation needs.
The entire system is only as strong as the weakest link. You can have a very efficient air handler but a leaky duct system and the entire system is not efficient. The US EPA has researched thousands of homes looking at the overall efficiency of the conditioning system. They found that most homes did not reach the rated efficiency of the hvac unit. This was because of leaky or uninsulated ducts or because of a compromised building envelope.
Ductwork is responsible for the transmission of conditioned air to the interior of the home. Our Ductwork improvements ensure that conditioned air stays within the ductwork and stays warm (or cold) as it is transported to the home.
What is Duct Sealing?
Duct sealing is the process of eliminating duct leakage in unconditioned area of the home. The ductwork in your home transports conditioned air from the HVAC unit to the conditioned spaces of the home. Ductwork installed in unconditioned spaces of the home, such as the attic or crawlspace, is often not sealed. As a result, duct leakage allows conditioned air to escape before entering the home and pulls unhealthy and unconditioned air indoors.
Return duct leakage permits unconditioned and potentially unhealthy air to enter the home through the ductwork even when not in use, and supply duct leakage permits conditioned air to escape the home resulting in significant energy waste. Duct leakage can account for as much as 30% of your monthly bills. We seal ductwork using the only proven method of duct sealing. Applying a nickel-thick layer of mastic directly to the ductwork (not to the insulation) at all seams and connections is the only proven duct sealing method.
What is Duct Repair?
Duct repair, or duct renovation, is a comprehensive ductwork improvement. There are several common issues with ductwork in the home, one of these is duct leakage. Duct leakage is usually the largest point of energy waste in ductwork and is repaired with duct sealing, however, duct insulation and duct shortening can also result in significant energy savings in the home. Duct remediation, also known in the HVAC industry as duct renovation, includes sealing, balancing, shortening and insulating ductwork. Shortening run lengths of ductwork improves air pressure out of the vents resulting in a more balanced system, and saves energy by reducing friction within the ductwork. When ducts in attics are run against the roof deck, the ductwork can get very hot or cold affecting the efficiency of ductwork. That ductwork installed against the roof deck in the attic should be shortened and moved to the floor of the attic where they can be covered with additional insulation. Finally, if ductwork is found to be excessively dirty we can perform duct cleaning to improve indoor air quality.