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Ducted forced air systems…Let’s get real

One of the things we hear as a negative to ducts and forced air heating is “it’s noisy and/or dirty”.   I’ve been meaning to write a whole series of comparisons of heating system delivery types because their are so many misconceptions about forced air heat.

So….it’s real simple.  Ducts do not create dust or dirt.  Where does it come from?  Leaky or unsealed ducts can be a culprit.  The rest, we’ll it’s just in the house.  Ducts do offer a way to filter the air and purify the air.

Now ‘noisy’ is a different issue.  Noise is caused in forced air systems by two things.  Fans! Or….could it be the guy who installed the system?  I’m going to stick with the later.  It is a complicated co-existence of fans, velocity, and static pressure.  Factors needing to be within balance in order to assure a home free from duct noise.

What I’m really trying to say is adjust your expectations for forced air and get the quality you want.  There is no excuse for the following:

  • Noise.  When your system starts up you may notice it, but shouldn’t hear it if you are having a conversation around the kitchen table.   Systems with variable speed or modulating fans should be almost unnoticeable.
  • Dust and Dirt.  Seal your ducts and put a good filtration system on it.  Your HVAC system can be used as a tool to reduce how much dusting is needed in your house.  Not, the other way around.
  • Comfort.  Honestly, this is the only good argument going.  If you like the ‘comfort’ a radiant system provides, I’ll even recommend some good companies to install.  If you are remembering an HVAC system or comparing it to your first home or your college apartment, we should talk.

There are many good fits for both kinds of systems and we will review them with you in a no pressure situation.  If you are building this season, be sure to let us review your project.