Common Duct Design Mistakes w/ Jack Rise (Podcast)
In this episode, Jack Rise talks about duct design regarding ACCA manual D, friction rate, face velocity, duct velocity, and what is ACTUALLY wrong with flex duct.
Manual D causes a lot of confusion for technicians, and most techs have a limited understanding of it anyway. When determining a blower wheel for commercial ductwork, Jack Rise calculates pressure drops for all of his elbows in the ductwork and makes his decision based on those calculations. Residential HVAC is a bit trickier, and that's where Manual D calculations come in. Luckily, many software nowadays, including Wrightsoft, can calculate loads very precisely and help you with duct sizing.
Just as with heat and pressure, there must be a velocity differential if you want air to move. If you need to move more BTUs of heat, then you need to move more CFM of air. Air also tends to take the path of least resistance. Trunk and branch design velocities must be different if you want any control over where the air goes. Trunk duct velocity typically stays between 700-900 CFM, but branch velocity can change quite a bit when you change the locations of the registers and grilles. Branch velocity tends to be 400-600 CFM. Good face velocity can be achieved by choosing the correct register and putting it in an ideal location.
Flex duct is not a bad material, but it is controversial due to its reputation for being poorly handled. Manual D has an appendix on compression and sag, and techs who consult it will design a much better duct.
Jack and Bryan also discuss:
- Available static
- Choosing a blower and factoring friction rate
- Oversized ducts
- Compression, sag, and bends in flex duct