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Fully Insulated, Compact Duct Design

Split-ductless systems eliminate the need for long duct runs which compromise energy efficiency through leakage and impact occupant health by accumulating harmful particulates. Given how ducts in poorly designed systems can harbor bacteria, mold and dust mites, limiting ductwork can make for a healthier home. Reducing ductwork can also increase durability given how flex ductwork breaks down over time due to pests or ducts getting stepped on by occupants. That said, high-performance homes are not necessarily without ducts. For example, builders may apply compact air handlers with minimal ductwork to serve smaller zones — or perhaps a basement or first floor. In high-performance homes, builders will apply rigid ducts or metal ducts with a compact duct design to ensure ducts are kept within the thermal envelope

In compact duct design, ducts do not run to the exterior walls as ducts do in older or code-level homes. Instead, these ducts run to the interior wall of the room and blow toward the exterior wall. With the ducts more centralized, this allows for shorter duct runs, which reduces the cost of ductwork and permits the installation of smaller HVAC systems and quieter fans. Builders can use compact duct design techniques in high-performance homes of various home sizes. For example, compact duct design will make it easier for builders to apply 10-inch large ducts in a 6,000-square-foot house fully within the thermal envelope.

For high-performance homes that include compact duct designs, the project team will design ducts to account for static pressure and CFM flow per ACCA Manual D® and follow Manual T® for duct grill termination design. All HVAC systems and ductwork should be installed within the thermal envelope and in a conditioned space. Ductwork that is outside of the conditioned space risks an energy penalty and condensation. Modern ducted units are more compact than traditional central units and are easier for builders to fit within the confines of conditioned space.

In compact duct design, ducts do not run to the exterior walls as ducts do in older or code-level homes. Instead, these ducts run to the interior wall of the room and blow toward the exterior wall. With the ducts more centralized, this allows for shorter duct runs, which reduces the cost of ductwork and permits the installation of smaller HVAC systems and quieter fans. Builders can use compact duct design techniques in high-performance homes of various home sizes. For example, compact duct design will make it easier for builders to apply 10-inch large ducts in a 6,000-square-foot house fully within the thermal envelope.

For high-performance homes that include compact duct designs, the project team will design ducts to account for static pressure and CFM flow per ACCA Manual D® and follow Manual T® for duct grill termination design. All HVAC systems and ductwork should be installed within the thermal envelope and in a conditioned space. Ductwork that is outside of the conditioned space risks an energy penalty and condensation. Modern ducted units are more compact than traditional central units and are easier for builders to fit within the confines of conditioned space.

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