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HVAC Q&A: Importance of Quality and Proper Sizing of Ductwork

Many homeowners don’t think about their ductwork because it’s out of sight, and therefore, out of mind. However, your ductwork plays a pivotal role in the heating and cooling needs of your home. One size does not fit all when it comes to your HVAC ductwork and the size of your heating and cooling system determines the size ductwork you need. If you suspect the quality and size of your HVAC ductwork is a problem, call Douglas Cooling & Heating today. We offer preventative maintenance plans, HVAC repairs, emergency service and installation for all your heating and cooling needs.

The Importance of HVAC Ductwork Sizing

Proper sizing of your HVAC ductwork is imperative to the efficiency of your system and your energy bill. Higher energy bills are common when the ductwork is too small or large. Another common issue from ductwork sized incorrectly is more wear and tear on a heating and cooling system, resulting in your unit failing earlier than it should and forcing you to install a replacement unit before you are financially ready. Other common problems of incorrectly sized HVAC ductwork include:

  • Forces your HVAC system to work harder
  • Creates hot and cold spots throughout your home
  • Decreases the rate of airflow
  • Contributes to uneven heating and cooling between floors
  • Furnaces have to work in overdrive to breathe
  • Causes the motor to wear out faster and
  • Increases the chance of a breakdown.

Types of HVAC Ductwork Materials

The material used for your ductwork is another element impacting your home’s heating and cooling system. Before you install new ductwork, discuss your ductwork options with our Douglas Cooling & Heating technician to ensure you get the best material for your new ductwork. The different materials all come with their own pros and cons and not every material works well for every situation. The different HVAC ductwork options include:

  • Flexible ducts, also known as flex ductwork, are made from reinforced plastic. They are tube-shaped with a wire coil inside the bendable plastic. Homes with tight spaces are ideal for flex ductwork. They are cheaper and easier to install and require proper support to prevent snagging and snaking.
  • Sheet metal ducts are made of galvanized steel and aluminum, with aluminum being the lighter and easier material to install of the two. They are less likely to have mold or mold growth occur in them due to their non-porous surface.
  • Fiberboard ducts are the quietest and most efficient material for ductwork. They are made from fiberglass strands crushed and joined with a resin. The resin is then covered with a sheet of foil laminate to protect against moisture.

The Importance of HVAC Ductwork Quality

The quality of your HVAC ductwork is just as important as the sizing. Healthy ductwork ensures even temperatures, reduces the wear and tear on your HVAC system, and increases energy savings. Ductwork with long runs between the heating and cooling system and a desired location causes uneven temperatures in different areas of a home. Sharp bends in ductwork prevent airflow from circulating effectively and decreases the amount of cool or warm air delivered to a space.

If ductworks aren’t properly sealed or supported it will lead to air leaks within the ducts. Valuable warm or cool air will be lost through the air leaks, resulting in wasted energy and higher energy costs. Another issue of poor quality ductwork is the lack of returns installed in your home. Returns help balance the air pressure and air movement within a room. When there aren’t enough air returns, the room temperature and comfort within a room is compromised.


If you are noticing increased energy bills and more repairs on your heating and cooling system, regardless of continued maintenance, your HVAC ductwork might be the problem. Call Douglas Cooling & Heating to schedule an HVAC repair to diagnose the problem. Our NATE-certified technicians will inspect your ductwork and determine if there is an issue with the size of your ducts or if the quality of the installation is at fault.

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