September 29, 2023


New Estate

Ductwork Set up Information For Householders

9 min read

Ductwork Set up Information For Householders

On this helpful information to ductwork set up, we’ll present you the ins and outs of putting in brand-new ductwork, adapting outdated however nonetheless helpful ductwork to an HVAC unit, and changing your return air drop, amongst different issues.

Putting in New Ductwork

designing ductwork

Of all of the forms of ductwork set up jobs, this needs to be the most important, costliest possibility.

New ductwork set up can apply to a brand new home underneath development or an current system that wants changing.

When changing current ductwork with a brand new duct system, it’s typically a good suggestion to additionally do a brand new load calculation.

The outdated HVAC system could not have been sized correctly within the first place, and changing the whole HVAC system once more with the identical measurement of air ducts might create the identical vary of points as earlier than.

Another tip: ducts are measured by the linear foot, not per “piece.”

It’s because sq. duct comes as two halves, whereas spherical duct comes at lengths of pipe.

So when beginning a brand new HVAC set up or ductwork set up, the whole system needs to be measured out in linear toes.

Why Ought to I Exchange My HVAC Ductwork?

new ductwork during home construction

There are fairly a number of causes to switch your property’s ductwork system.

If the basement has unfinished ceilings, this may drastically scale back the mission and common labor prices and permit the sheet metallic technician a greater inspection to find out precisely how a lot ductwork wants changing.

A number of examples will be:

Dusty House

Are you all the time cleansing mud off the surfaces all through your own home? This can be a signal your ducts are dusty each on the within and the skin.

For flippantly dusty ducts, strive contacting a duct cleansing firm. They are going to do a fantastic job on the price of cleansing inside your ductwork and prevent on the opposite labor, provides, and prices related to changing ductwork.

Poor Airflow

That is the primary cause for uneven or inconsistent temperatures all through your own home. Airflow restrictions and leaks in air ducts will be brought on by damaged, disconnected, or undersized ductwork and needs to be repaired or changed.

Musty Odor

When moisture and humidity mix collectively, they’ll create mould. Finally, mould will give off a musty scent, which might settle into a number of areas of the home.

Duct cleansing may help with faint musty odors; nevertheless, the one assured solution to eliminate these smells can be to switch that complete part with new sheet metallic ductwork.

Noisy Furnace and Air Conditioner

Has your furnace and air-con system been making odd noises? It might be your ducts and never your precise HVAC system. Unfastened and unsecured air ducts will vibrate extra usually, so putting in ductwork and making certain duct connections are sealed and correctly supported will hopefully cease these noises.

Ducts Are Outdated and Broken

Ductwork is taken into account outdated after roughly 15 years of use. Relying on the standard of ductwork restore and set up, after 15 years, these ducts might be dusty or utterly falling aside.

Dents in air ducts are ugly and might doubtlessly trigger air leaks that result in airflow points, uneven temperatures, extra mud all through the home, and even creepy crawlies making a house contained in the air ducts.

Ductwork Phrases

Central HVAC system layout

Listed below are some helpful phrases to learn about your subsequent HVAC unit ductwork set up mission.

Provide and Return Air

The availability air facet of the HVAC duct system begins after the blower fan that circulates airflow in the home. The return air facet brings air from every room again to the fan.

The simplest solution to perceive the distinction between the 2 is the availability air is pressured out into the ducts whereas the return air is sucked again by way of the ducting into in direction of the blower wheel.


That is the most important air duct within the system.

It sits on high of the furnace or air handler on the warmth provide or central air-con facet, the place the principle trunk line take-off begins. The plenum is nearly all the time a sq. ducting.

A traditional plenum measurement is approx 17.5″ x 20″ however can differ for various furnace/air handler widths.

The return air drop can also be a kind of plenum; nevertheless, it’s usually thinner and longer than the availability plenum. The commonest measurement for a return air drop is round 8″x 24″ or 10″x 24″.

Principal Trunk

This may apply to each return and provide trunks; nevertheless, most individuals are simply referring to the availability.

These are smaller in measurement than the plenum and can usually go down in measurement after a sure distance with a view to preserve air velocity constant.

They are often both spherical or sq. ducts.

Department Traces

Department strains are connected to the principle trunk line and department off to produce registers all through the home. They’re the smallest ducts, normally 5″ in diameter and all the time spherical.

Assembling Sq. Ductwork

residential ductwork

Putting in ductwork takes cautious planning and many time.

It’s a tedious course of that may yield unimaginable outcomes so long as the set up is completed correctly.

Whereas doing a correct set up isn’t precisely exhausting, there may be all the time the urge to chop corners to avoid wasting time. That is the distinction between knowledgeable sheet metallic installer and a handyman.

Assembling sq. sheet metallic ducting is straightforward so long as you’ve got a pair of tin snips, a tin hammer, a flat-head screwdriver, a flat metallic folding bar, and a desk.

First, arrange your desk and lay half (bear in mind, sq. duct is available in two halves) on high with the bigger facet going through down.

Now measure the size you want and use your snips to chop right down to measurement. Repeat this step with the opposite half of the duct.

Now lay the second piece on high of the primary piece and line up the seams; utilizing your screwdriver, gently pry the groove on the underside piece open simply sufficient so the highest seam enters.

These seams are referred to as Button-Lock, and after they line up, all it takes is a fast faucet with the hammer alongside the entire size, and they need to snap collectively and maintain.

Now that you’ve an entire piece collectively seize your folding bar and lay the three/8″ groove over high of the facet fringe of the duct. Fold this piece again 180 levels, and repeat on the opposite facet. You ought to be left with the highest and backside 1″ tabs and either side 3/8″ tabs.

To affix two lengths collectively, have your companion maintain the alternative finish so it doesn’t fall down, and line up the highest and backside edges with the present s-cleat on the beforehand put in piece of duct.

Seize two items of drive cleat and trim them down so they’re two inches longer than the peak of the duct. For instance, in case you are putting in 24″x 10″ ducting, make each bit of drive 12″. Make a one-inch 90-degree bend on the backside of each items and slide them up the three/8″ folds on both sides.

This can lock the edges collectively whereas the highest and backside are held collectively within the S-cleat. The remaining one inch needs to be poking excessive of the duct, hit it with a hammer to fold down and safe the drive cleat.

Hanging Sq. Duct

These steps will be utilized to a brand new ductwork set up or to current ductwork. The precept is identical for each.

Measure the space from the underside of the ceiling joist to the underside of the ductwork. Add two inches and reduce the drive cleat to this size.

Fold one finish out and the opposite finish the alternative approach. I like utilizing drive as an alternative of s cleat for this as a result of it’s thinner and makes a cleaner bend.

Connect the cleat to the joist beside the duct with a drill and wooden screws.

The cleat needs to be completely vertical. The underside fold must also be tight to the underside of the duct and will be mounted with a tin screw to 2.

These steps mixed collectively needs to be sufficient to finish an entire trunk of sq. duct set up.

Assembling Spherical Duct

As talked about earlier than, a spherical duct is put in as a department from the principle trunk to produce air to sure elements of the home.

Bear in mind, it’s measured by the linear foot, usually coming in 5′ lengths. So whenever you get a worth from the provider for a spherical, don’t neglect to multiply that by 5 to get the entire price.

The spherical duct is joined collectively by Snap Lock.

Be sure one finish is evenly match collectively and squeeze closed. As soon as one half snaps collectively, transfer down the pipe snapping all the way in which to the tip.

In the event you haven’t achieved this earlier than, you could discover your forearms getting sore. That is completely regular.

Match the crimped finish into the non-crimped finish of the beforehand put in pipe, and screw in three tin screws an equal distance round. Then utilizing good high quality mastic tape (some constructing codes require it), wrap a chunk across the seam.

In the event you’re changing one small part of pipe and don’t have a lot wiggle room to insert the 1 1/2″ crimped finish, you should utilize one thing referred to as a draw band connector to carry the butt joint collectively.

Seal this joint with the identical strategies of tin screws and new tape, and don’t neglect to take away the outdated tape beforehand.

Frequent Errors

Now that you already know the fundamentals of putting in ductwork and why you need to change it, we will go into some not-to-dos.

These typically fall underneath the class of poor planning, which is a slippery slope for an HVAC mission of this measurement. A foul preliminary plan will carry by way of the duct set up and most certainly received’t be acknowledged till all of the ductwork, supplies, and HVAC tools are put in.

Unhealthy Airflow

You must set up ductwork with the purpose of utilizing as straight strains as potential. Decreasing the variety of zigs and zags in a duct set up will create a smoother airflow which might save common prices in your vitality invoice.

Poor Sealing

Your HVAC system efficiency will be drastically elevated with correct sealing. This is applicable to sheet metallic transition gaps in addition to wherever on the ductwork system.

If you need your set up to look professional, use mastic and tin tape, they work the very best for sealing leaky air joints. If you wish to appear like an everyday Joe, use duct tape; it normally loses its stickiness and peels off inside a 12 months.

Incorrect System Sizing

Your HVAC system and residential ductwork need to be sized in accordance with one another. If not sized accurately, you could expertise issues with uneven temperatures and trigger expensive injury to your heating and cooling methods.

Too Few Return Air Vents

Sizing your HVAC tools and provide ductwork correctly will create a balanced airflow all through the house. And this is applicable to the return air duct too.

Rooms in the home that want return air air flow embody all bedrooms, the lounge, the hallway, and normally no less than one within the basement. This ensures the HVAC system can flow into air by way of all ductwork whereas heating or cooling, holding you snug year-round.


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In conclusion, changing or putting in ductwork may help owners tackle a variety of points, from mud accumulation to uneven temperatures and mould.

When contemplating changing ductwork, it is very important have knowledgeable examine the HVAC system first and carry out a load calculation to make sure the right measurement ducts are put in.

When discussing ductwork set up with professionals, owners ought to pay attention to phrases equivalent to plenum, important trunk, and department strains.

Though assembling sq. sheet metallic ducting will be tedious, knowledgeable set up will end in a extra environment friendly HVAC system and a extra snug dwelling surroundings.

Wish to study extra about your property’s HVAC system? Be at liberty to take a look at our different HVAC articles!

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