Heating, ventilation and air conditioning service companies, along with their customers, rightly hold to the idea that HVAC equipment energy efficiency ratings mean next to nothing unless there is a duct system in place that performs optimally. Let’s have a look at some average duct system upgrades that are necessary for delivering the efficiency listed on the yellow sticker.

The average HVAC system installed in a single-family home delivers only 57% of the BTUs on its rating sticker – an alarmingly low number. Even utility and government programs being used today only elevate that number to 63%.

There is, however, some good news. Service techs who take just a little time – usually less than an hour – to perform proper diagnostics and measurements are able to increase the system efficiency to 85% or more, all but eliminating the competition from the equation.   This testing will determine the efficacy of your duct work and whether there is a need for a replacement duct system.

Ducting and Service Agreements
Are your service agreements written to include the system’s ducting? If yours is like most companies, odds are your answer is no. A simple static pressure reading – an all of FIVE MINUTE procedure – can be an important element in determining if a ducting system needs to be renovated. It’s a simple thing but one that is often overlooked or ignored.

Without proper measurements gauging the least static pressure and airflow, any system evaluation you perform is based almost solely on guesswork. Rated AFUE and SEER express only the equipment’s potential as gauged in a controlled lab environment. In order to correctly judge system performance, it is necessary to include the air distribution system.