Why You Might Need to Redesign Your Ductwork

During fall, as we start to get a reprieve from the intense summer Arizona heat, this is a great time to start thinking about making energy efficiency upgrades to your home and even your AC & heating system. Fall is the best time for this, as any comfort issues like hot rooms or humidity issues are still fresh in your mind and you can best describe these concerns to our expert BPI Certified Building Analyst. If your home has an AC that’s more than 15 years old, it’s considered “elderly” and not only may it not be “keeping up” anymore, it’s costing you a lot more to run than todays high-efficiency AC units. You want to replace the heating and cooling system on your timetable, not a timetable the HVAC system picks!

We’re here to help see you have a great new heating and/or air conditioning replacement in Phoenix, AZ.

But… there is a part of the air conditioner and heating system that people overlook that often needs improvement—or a full redesign—as well. It’s the ductwork…the “lungs” of your HVAC System.

What’s wrong with my current ductwork?

Maybe nothing, maybe everything! My crystal ball has been in the shop for repairs since last week, so I can’t say for certain without an inspection and a few simple tests, but poorly installed ducts are a major problem for many homes in the Mesa / Phoenix area…even many newer homes.

We’re specialists in home performance, and offer energy audits, conducted by BPI Certified Envelope Specialists and Building Analysts. In a nutshell we run tests and inspect homes to see how energy efficient a house is overall. But beyond just finding ways our clients can reduce their power bills, perhaps more importantly; the improvements we suggest typically produce more even temperatures throughout your home, improve the air quality, reduce dust, and generally improve the comfort and quality of life for the people that live there – and we love that part the most!

One of the most common problems we find where homes waste energy and the family that lives there is uncomfortable is bad duct design and/or improper installation.

Deficiencies in air duct design and install allow for large amounts of heat gain (such as poorly insulated ducts running through the attic), high static pressure (air pressure) leading to leaks and poor AC unit performance, ducts that are too large or too small, wasteful design choices, and most often poor installation practices.

Good duct design should provide the least amount of resistance to airflow without significant heat loss or heat gain through the duct walls. Too many homes have ducts that fail these basic tests. This is especially common in homes built prior to 2008 in the Phoenix area, when some of the energy codes were improved.

What can I do about this?

We strongly recommend starting by arranging for an energy audit for your house with our team, or at the very least just an air duct inspection. When we conduct a whole home energy audit, we do much more than just testing your ductwork for leaks. We analyze your entire house to find places where its energy efficiency can be improved. The duct leakage testing process gives our auditors vital information about the ductwork and whether it is losing pressure due to leaks or creating excess restriction on airflow that makes the AC and heater do more work than necessary.

We offer duct testing in Mesa, AZ on its own or as part of an energy audit.

The professional ductwork redesign

In some situations we find the design is okay and materials chosen are up to par. In these cases we can often fix the energy waste and comfort issues by sealing all joints and connections with a product called mastic – we then conduct post-testing to verify the improvement, which also earns the homeowner a $250 utility rebate (for SRP and APS customers). Duct sealing savings are what we call “low hanging fruit”.  According to third-party inspections conducted for the utility company APS, the average duct sealing job completed by Magic Touch Mechanical yield 200% of their “perceived” savings! In other words, homeowners are actually reducing their energy bill by twice as much as APS estimated they would with this improvement. It is not uncommon for the ROI of this improvement to be in as little as three years.

If you read some of the Magic Touch Mechanical reviews posted online on sites like Google and Angie’s List. you’ll see some of our clients have reported as much as a 45% reduction in their summer power bill!

Other homes may need partial or even complete ductwork redesign. We’ll consider the layout of the ducts and create a new design that matches your home and makes the best use of space. This involves seeing that the ducts run through conditioned and insulated spots in your house and also putting in ducts that are the correct size to allow for the best airflow while maintaining proper air pressure. This takes expert knowledge and training, and we have the experience and tools to see you end up with an efficient new ductwork design that will mean both improved comfort and lower utility bills in the future.

While the thought of investing in something like ductwork repair is hardly as enticing as spending your hard-earned money on something like a weekend getaway or the latest smartphone – we’ve never heard a client say they were sorry they did it! The money spent is not only an investment that will yield more money in your pocket every year – the comfort difference is truly amazing for most.

If you are planning to make an upgrade to your HVAC system this fall, we recommend having a look into upgrading the ductwork as well. We offer duct design in Chandler, AZ and throughout the Phoenix area.

Magic Touch Mechanical is now in its 20th year of service! Call us today to experience our award-winning customer service first-hand. We look forward to exceeding your expectations!