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Mythbusting Ductwork: Addressing Common Ductwork Errors

MistBuster - Photo supplied by Filcom Umwelttechnologie GmbH

MistBuster – Photo supplied by Filcom Umwelttechnologie GmbH

Here’s a scenario: A few years ago you installed an air purification or filtration system. For one reason or another, you need to make changes to the ductwork soon. You consider consulting a professional, but wonder if you can retrofit it yourself.

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone! Retrofitting ductwork on your own can seem to be an easy enough project to get done without a professional. Due to the exacting nature and potential dire consequences of errors in air quality technology, however, it is always better for ductwork revisions to be handled by professionals. Learn more as we address common questions about air quality ductwork, and why revisions are best handled by a professional in the industry.

Addressing Common Ductwork Errors

Question: An air quality tech is expensive! Can additional ductwork replace the need for another system?

Answer: Additional ductwork does not replace the need for another system. In fact, once installed by a certified professional, ductwork should not be modified or added to at all. Adding unnecessary turns, elbows, and joints in your air quality technology’s ductwork can restrict the airflow in the system. Overall, this means that your system will be less efficient than it was when it was installed, and can open you up to liability or potential health concerns from your employees.

Question: What if I just need to move my tech’s ductwork? Can I perform those revisions without seeking the help of a professional?

Answer: All ductwork revisions and modifications should be handled by a certified air quality professional. Ductwork (and other air quality tech) requires precise balancing to ensure each extraction point can allow the necessary particles to be extracted in the required time. Air speed issues are just one of the troubles you might encounter if you perform modifications on your own.

Question: If I buy another air purification system can I use the same extraction point for my ductwork? What if I add another extraction point myself?

Answer: Only an air quality professional can gauge whether you can handle another extraction point—and how to add one to your infrastructure. Having too many extraction points can actually reduce the effectiveness of your system to capture particulate. On the other hand, having too few extraction points can reduce the airflow inside the duct, causing buildup and requiring more frequent cleaning and maintenance. This results in avoidable downtime. To properly ensure that your technology is as efficient as possible, an air quality professional should always be consulted.

Question: I’d like to install a new machine into my preexisting ductwork. Can I do that?

Answer: Sometimes the old ductwork can accommodate the new machine. To be safe, however, a professional consult is recommended to ensure that the ductwork is the proper size for your new tech. Undersizing ductwork can reduce or even prevent some of the extraction points from performing their duty. Undersized ductwork might also require more power to properly drive your system, wasting energy and costing you money. In addition, oversizing ductwork can reduce air speed inside the duct, causing the same buildup issues mentioned before. To guarantee a fit and no unforeseen issues down the line, a professional’s opinion is recommended.

Question: Replacing ducts can be pricey. Can I use my own materials?

Answer: Unfortunately, only certified ducts should be used to guarantee the effectiveness of air quality technologies. Using improper duct material and supports can cause issues such as leaking, sagging, and even collapse. For the health of your workers and the efficiency of your tech, it is recommended to use ductwork that is always up to code.

Next Steps in Necessary Ductwork Revisions

Before you start changing or adding onto your current air filtrations system ductwork, make sure to contact your local technician. They should be able to guide you to the best course of action to ensure your air filtration units continue to perform to the best of their ability.

Air Quality Engineering

Air Quality Engineering