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Air Distribution System Installation and Sealing - Proper Duct Installation Increases Efficiency

March 2003     

This fact sheet provides installation guidance for properly installing air distribution or duct systems in order to maximize efficiency, comfort and indoor air quality.

Air Distribution Systems

Air distribution or duct systems are used by central heating and cooling systems to circulate heated and/or cooled air to all the conditioned rooms in a house. In order to be efficient, maintain uniform temperatures, operate quietly and not adversely affect comfort or indoor air quality, duct systems must be installed correctly.

Air Distribution System Installation and Sealing Guidelines

Duct systems should be installed within the conditioned space and semi-conditioned space to reduce the impact of leakage on the system’s efficiency and required insulation, and they should be hard-ducted as much as possible. The fact sheet also provides installation guidelines and recommendations for:

  • Sheet metal ducts
  • Fiberglass duct board ducts
  • Flexible non-metallic ducts
  • The air handler
  • Plenums
  • Duct boots and elbows
  • Installation materials, including fasteners and sealing materials
  • Duct leakage testing
  • Duct insulation (for portions outside of the conditioned space)

Prepared for:
U.S. Department of Energy

6 pages