Heating and air conditioning accounts for almost half the energy usage of the typical Toronto home. If you’re serious about wanting to maximize the efficiency of your HVAC system you need to take the ductwork, grilles and registers into consideration during a furnace installation. These are, after all, the components that deliver the heated or cooled air to the house and return it to be reheated or re-cooled. If you have problems with your ducts, grilles or registers your whole system will suffer.

Ducts, Grilles and Registers: The Forgotten Elements of Furnace Installation

These three components of your HVAC system are all vital players in the air delivery cycle. Here are some of the reasons you’ll want to make sure you have the right ones in place for your home.

Ductwork

All air being distributed throughout your home is carried by the ductwork. Leaky or damaged ducts can seriously undermine the effectiveness of your system. Other factors that impact the effectiveness of your ducts include:

  • Location – During furnace installation ducts are sometimes installed within the external walls of the home. In other cases builders will have ductwork installed in the garage or attic simply because it’s easy. But all these locations will drag down the system’s efficiency. Whenever possible ducts should be installed within interior walls away from the home’s envelope.
  • Size – It’s vital that the ductwork be the right size to carry the correct amount of air to keep your home at the proper temperature. Ductwork that is too narrow will cause your system to be constantly playing catch-up. Many factors go into determining duct size including:
    • Home insulation levels
    • The orientation of the home to the sun
    • Heat gain or loss
    • Local climate
  • Material – Believe it or not builders in the past sometimes used the channels created between wooden wall joists as HVAC ducts. Thankfully this incredibly inefficient means of transferring heated or cooled air has passed into history but other shortcuts have not. Make sure your ducts are fabricated from the right materials like fiberglass or galvanized steel.

Grilles and Registers

While often spoken of interchangeably registers and grilles typically serve two different purposes in the HVAC air delivery system. Grilles are mostly employed in the service of returning air to the furnace, while registers are used to deliver air from the furnace to the room.

  • Return Grilles – Despite their unimpressive profile return grilles play an important part in influencing the effectiveness of your HVAC system. If the grille is too small or poorly chosen it may impede adequate delivery of air to the system; in effect choking it off. There are myriad considerations that go into selecting the right return grille but the most important is probably Feet Per Minute (FPM). Most grilles should be able to handle 300-500 FPM. If they can’t they’re likely too small and should be replaced.
  • Supply Registers – Supply registers play an equally important role as grilles in making sure your HVAC system is running at optimal efficiency. Registers are most often installed beneath windows or on outer walls and their job is to deliver the piping hot (or blissfully cool) air to a room. If not enough thought goes into selecting the register you may wind up with a situation where it’s sending heated or cooled air in a direction that undermines proper air circulation.

Don’t trust your furnace installation to just anyone. Toronto Heating and Air Conditioning Company has been helping homeowners in the GTA create safe, comfortable domestic environments since 1992. We’ll make sure every aspect of your furnace installation from the size of the furnace itself to the design of the supply registers work together to keep you comfortable and save you money.