Duct work involves the installation of steel sheet metal ducts or pipes to carry the hot or cold air throughout the home. They are designed to feed like a network to various parts of the home through the walls and floor areas, usually installed between the floor joists. They are also fed through exterior building materials like brick, block and stone.
The ducts that are used (HVAC) refer to a system designed to deliver and remove air, in the form of heat, ventilation and air conditioning throughout the home. The inside air quality and air temperature is actively controlled by this ventilation system when it has been properly installed and is correctly functioning.
Duct work needs to be tight fitting and perfectly sealed around the areas and the materials that they pass through. Leaks within the duct work can cause loss of pressure and flow within this system. A DIY tip when attempting to work with these sheet metal ducts; it can be very frustrating, especially, if you have never worked with cutting and fitting these sheet metal pieces together before. Cutting your fingers and hands is par for the course.
Call a licensed and seasoned installer that has years of experience working with ductwork; including, your particular HVAC system. The original installers are always the best to call back should a problem arise with the flow of air, or its installation. Some companies do-it-all; design and install the ductwork, and have HVAC technicians putting the other physical and electrical components together to create a workable and well sealed air flowing system for your home.
The size and placement of your ductwork will depend on the size of the space you will need to heat, ventilate or air condition. Not all homes can easily be retrofitted with new ductwork; and, they can create a huge construction mess if you have to open up and close walls and floors to fit them within. This will be an important consideration as to the final cost of installation.
With new designs and materials, some ducts are made of thinner metal coated boxes, easily fitting in between joists and the rafters, and only a few inches thick in profile! Metal ducts without a doubt last the longest. They are also more expensive to purchase but easier to install.
Finally, we come to safety concerns and the health problems associated with your ductwork. Poorly installed and leaking ducts can circulate harmful gases, vapors and particulates adding to the homes indoor pollution. These can include flue gasses from furnaces backing up or leaking out; stored chemicals and their fumes carried through the duct work from non-vented areas; gas stoves; and even, radon gas, a radioactive gas passing through the ground under your home. If your vent and duct systems are not functioning properly, your indoor living space can become contaminated and become a serious health hazard. Consider regular cleaning of all duct work; especially, against moisture borne germs.