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Sizing Ducts: Don't Skip This High-Value Step When Installing New Air Conditioning

Think back to last summer. Did your air conditioning function as well as you expected and needed it to? Or did it leave you battling mildew and mold in an overly-humid home, sending your electric bill skyward because you were forced to run a dehumidifier on the side?

Believe it or not, the culprit may not have been your air conditioner, but your ductwork. Many Fayetteville homes, especially those built more than 10 years ago, were designed for larger air conditioning units — units that were far less efficient than those currently recommended by the U.S. Department of Energy. After an air conditioner has been replaced with a newer model, the ducts may no longer be properly sized for your system.

Ducts that are sized too small can cause your air conditioning unit to overwork. This wastes energy and costs you money. Even worse, this inefficiency can cause indoor humidity to climb, which is both uncomfortable and unhealthy.

If you suspect that your home’s ducts are improperly sized and need to be replaced, it’s important to work with a contractor experienced in sizing ducts. Sizing ducts is not as cut and dry as you may think. It’s not uncommon for contractors to use generic rules of thumb to size duct. However, this can be misleading, especially in homes that have been properly weather-sealed; the duct size may not be appropriate.

Before you hire a contractor to re-do your ductwork, be sure they are following the recommendations outlined in the Air Conditioning Contractors of America’s Manual D for sizing ducts.

Blanton’s Heating & Air Conditioning has been helping Fayetteville residents improve their summer comfort since 1951. Contact us for more information or schedule an appointment today.

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