What Were They Thinking?

September/October 2008
A version of this article appears in the September/October 2008 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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September 07, 2008
Here are a couple of those situations where, as home performance professionals, we scratch our heads and ask, What were they thinking? Rocket Scientist Not Required It doesn’t take a rocket scientist, or an HVAC engineer, to figure out one problem with the HVAC forced-air duct installation in the Phoenix, Arizona, home shown in the diagram (see Figure).  The owner complained about high cooling bills and uncomfortable conditions in the front rooms.  A quick look in the attic revealed a large part of the problem. Note that one of two trunks runs from the air handler to the northwest area.  From there the trunk was split to serve the northwest and west rooms.  At the first split, another duct was directed all the way to the front of the home.  It’s little wonder that losses in the unnecessarily long duct run reduced air flow in the home’s front rooms.  A better alternative would have been to run a third trunk from the air handler to serve the front rooms.   Proper design and installation of the HVAC duct system is critical to energy- efficient performance and occupant comfort.&...

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