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Standard HVAC Methods Don’t Always Work in Old Houses

January 15, 2013 by admin | Category: EducationalComments (0)

Adding to the ductwork can severely cripple the home HVAC system.  This is especially true if the house has more than 1 story, and the ductwork was designed a long time ago.

What can people add to the ductwork? It could be more ductwork attached to old-furnacethe existing ductwork. It could be something that people insert into the ductwork – air conditioning coil or very dense a furnace filter.

Homeowners build additions to the house: the second store, a sun room or a greenhouse. The ductwork for the addition is often just added to the existing ductwork without increasing its size. Air for heating and cooling of the added rooms comes at the expense of the existing rooms. As a result nobody gets decent heating and even much less cooling.

In some houses homeowners can get away with attaching additions to the existing ductwork. Usually this is a bungalow that previously had an oversized furnace. It’s not unusual to come across a 1,000 sq. ft. bungalow with an old 120,000 BTUmonster-furnace sitting in the basement. Quite often the owner can attach a horizontal addition like a sunroom to the existing ductwork without affecting the rest of the house. If there is any problem with uneven temperature or humidity throughout the house, it can easily be solved by keeping the furnace fan continuously running.

On the other extreme are old 2 and 3 story houses whose ductwork many years ago was intended for heating only. There are lot of them in the downtown of Toronto. No addition to that ductwork goes unpunished.

Today’s furnaces with much stronger blowers can partially compensate for the undersized ductwork, but only partially. If radical changes to the ductwork are not practical, ductless heat pumps can take care of remote rooms of the house.

Via CozyWorld.

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