4 Reasons To Run Your Ducts Through Your Living Space And Not Your Attic
Whether you're installing fresh ductwork in a new home or in an older home that never had it, you have a chance to plan the layout to maximize benefits and avoid mistakes commonly made in the past. It was once common to run air conditioning ducts through the attic of a home, but now it is no longer recommended if you want an efficient and comfortable home. Learn why it's best to move ducts to areas below the attic for optimal air conditioning performance.
1. Wasted Energy
Ducts are subject to a surprising amount of heat loss and gain when there's a stark difference in temperature between the air around the exterior and the air traveling inside the ducts. This means your cooled air will pick up a lot of heat as it travels through a hot attic space, reducing your comfort level and causing you to turn down the thermostat. You'll pay more per month for your summer cooling needs, and the reverse is also true if the same ducts are used for heating in the winter when the attic is cold.
2. Trapped Heat
Many air conditioning systems that rely on ducts run through the attic space also locate the heat transfer unit in this area as well. This is a poor practice because the heat transfer unit is actively releasing heat it's removing from the air it cools. If that heat just ends up back in your attic space, you're increasing the chances of heating up the air as it moves through the ducts. It's a repeating cycle that doesn't make sense from an energy efficiency point of view, and it's easily fixed by relocating the ducts and heat transfer units into the conditioned living space.
3. Increased Condensation
Running air conditioning ducts through your attic can even cause problems during the winter when the system is not running. When ducts are cold in the winter, they tend to form large amounts of condensation due to the low temperature. This condensation leads to mold and rust in the dust, potentially causing large air leaks that greatly reduce your air conditioner's performance. Moving the ducts out of the attic and into areas that are in contact with heated space is the best way to prevent condensation.
4. Unwanted Dust
Finally, ducts that develop cracks and leaks will suck in loose insulation material from fiberfill batts and blown-in cellulose. You may find that your system becomes dusty over time if you run the ducts through insulated attic spaces. This problem is less likely to occur if the ducts have their own spaces with rigid or foam insulation run separately through the conditioned space of the home.
Contact your local air conditioning installation service for more information and assistance.