If you are replacing your old HVAC system it is important to consider the benefits and costs associated with replacing your existing ductwork.
A new HVAC system requires a substantial investment, and most homeowner tries to save some dollars wherever they can. This usually means getting a new HVAC system, and getting the contractor to make adjustments to retrofit the new system to the existing ductwork. However, this might not always be a great idea, and may in fact affect the performance of your new system. Here are the things that you need to consider:
Benefits of Retaining the Existing Ductwork
The biggest reason to keep the existing ductwork when you replace the HVAC System is cost. HVAC experts often strongly advise against this as it can seriously affect the performance of your new HVAC System that you have invested so much in.
Why Replace the Ducts?
In many homes a large part of the ductwork is located in the attic.This may be good enough reason to replace your ductwork. There are significant temperature changes in the attic, and due to this, it is difficult to maintain the temperature of the air that is pumped through the ductwork. This ductwork should be replaced anyhow, and getting a new HVAC system is the perfect opportunity to do this. Removing ductwork from the attic and installing it at carefully chosen locations can improve system performance by over 25-30 percent. Attics can become very hot during summers so relocating them can make a huge difference.
If you are purchasing a new HVAC system, it will likely be significantly more efficient than your old system depending on the energy rating of your new system. In many new HVAC systems, the air handler and other components are designed specifically to match the ductwork. If you try installing it with the existing ductwork, the efficiency will suffer. With time, even properly sealed ductwork can allow dust and dirt, which again affects the system performance. So, the bottom line is that to get the best performance from your HVAC system, the system and ductwork should match perfectly.
Today, many homeowners is opting for ductless HVAC systems for the many benefits they offer. Ductless systems are about 20-30 percent more expensive than traditional HVAC systems, but it pays itself off in terms of better efficiency and other benefits. With no ducts, there is no major source of inefficiency as leaks and cracks in the ductwork often lead to serious energy wastage.
Apart from the ductless systems, mini duct systems are also gaining popularity. These systems have smaller ducts compared to traditional systems, and because they work under high pressure they are much more efficient compared to systems that rely on ductwork.
St. Louis Heating and Cooling
If you are buying a new HVAC system and are trying to decide if you should keep or replace your existing ductwork, seek advice of a professional HVAC technician at Air Excellence Heating and Cooling. We would be happy to examine your home’s ductwork and suggest the best course of action.