Your furnace, heat pump or air conditioner is the heart of your comfort system.
It’s often said that your furnace, heat pump or air conditioner is the heart of your comfort system. Following the analogy further, your air ducts are its veins & arteries.
And just like high blood pressure is bad for your heart, high “duct static pressure” is bad for your heating and cooling system, your comfort – and your wallet.
When you go to the doctor for a check-up, common practice is for the doctor or nurse to measure your blood pressure. Our service technicians now have the instruments and training to do the same for your ducts when we do the seasonal tune-up, or a home and duct performance assessment.
We’ve been doing this for a while now, and the results are often eye-opening. The heating and cooling equivalent to 80 over 120 is “half an inch” of water column pressure for most systems. When we test the duct pressure, we now routinely find pressures significantly higher than this –often over double!
Why does this matter?
Higher Utility Bills: High pressures in the ducts leads to lower airflow. Lower airflow means lower efficiency. Lower efficiency means higher monthly utility bills.
Comfort: Lower airflow leads to poor distribution of conditioned air throughout the home, contributing to hot and cold spots, or the system not keeping up on the hottest or coldest days.
Noise: High static pressure is often a clue as to why a system is excessively noisy – the same repairs to reduce static pressure usually decrease noise as well.
Repairs: Low airflow causes furnaces to overheat internally, and air conditioners and heat pumps to not function smoothly. Many common expensive repairs – or premature total failure – are directly attributable to low airflow.
The good news is that identifying high static pressure allows us to prescribe the right medicine to make your system and your home happier! Each system is different – but most common airflow improvements are fairly simple and economical. And best of all, they pay for themselves through more efficient operation and lower utility bills.
Next time your HVAC contractor visits your home, ask your technician to take the time to check your ducts static pressure and explain the results. If you are having any comfort, dust or high utility bill issues, give a home performance trained contractor a call and they’ll explain your options for home & duct performance assessments.