Upgrading your home’s heating or cooling equipment is much like buying a new pair of jeans. At some point, you have to try on the pants to make sure they fit. Heating and cooling equipment also has to fit properly – with your home’s duct system.
These two components work together to comfortably heat and cool your home. The A/C or furnace produces conditioned air, and the ductwork distribution system delivers that air. If the ducts are too small or too large for the system, problems ensue and you won’t get your money’s worth from the purchase.
Therefore, it’s best to have an HVAC contractor inspect your ductwork before you buy. Fitting your new system to the existing ducts often makes more sense than adjusting air ducts, which can be an expensive endeavor.
A few things to keep in mind when selecting new HVAC equipment to work with your existing ductwork:
- Your home’s air handler, which moves heated or cooled air throughout the home, should have the capacity to move enough air through the ductwork. You may need to install a larger air handler, because with an undersized one the coils might freeze if enough air doesn’t pass through the system.
- Your ducts might have leaks that need to be sealed. Air leaks cause an imbalance between the amount of air going into your cooling or heating equipment and the amount coming out.
- Your registers might be too small to accommodate the new system. Installing larger supply registers can allow more air to pass through them and into the home.
Despite your efforts, you might run up against a situation that requires duct installation. A contractor can assess your home’s design and make recommendations for the least costly installation options (like installing ducts in closets), while maintaining good airflow.
Alternatively, ductless mini-split systems can be installed. Combining a ductless mini-split in certain rooms with a new central air system might make more sense financially, allowing the purchase of a smaller central-air system to use with your current ductwork.
Before you upgrade, contact the experts at All Year to “try on” your system. We can evaluate your home’s ductwork and help you select a system that works with your budget and your home.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about ductwork and other HVAC topics, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
All Year services the Greater Sacramento area. To get started, check out our website.