Posts

Is There a Standard Thickness for Ductwork Sheet Metal?

Each batch of sheet metal is made to differing levels of strength, size, and thickness depending on the exact performance tests it has to pass. For universal adoption of appropriate standards to be possible, it was necessary to create a governing body to regulate and approve particular use of components based upon their qualification. The Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors‘ National Association (SMACNA) is an international trade association that establishes the industry standards for acceptable construction material criteria used in HVAC. These codes declare the minimum allowable thickness for ventilation ductwork sheet metal across various sizes, shapes, and raw materials used for individual applications. Sheet metal has specific guidelines determined by use, which the product must be within after being manufactured or fabricated for:

• Commercial
• Industrial
• Residential

Gage-It Right

To save on the money and resources in an initial investment, it is common to choose the least allowable thickness that fits into the design plans while still possessing the right qualifying tolerances. The thinnest acceptable sheet metal for ductwork used in a single dwelling is 28 gage or 0.013 and 0.018 inches for galvanized and aluminum, respectively. This measurement is for around duct smaller than 12 inches in diameter and a rectangular section no bigger than 8 inches. These figures are for construction according to the most recent edition of the updated codebook published in 2018. Additionally, there are also specs for the correct galvanizing coating that is supposed to be used as well, and knowing how to get all the details right is why it is important to have a professional handle all installations.

The sheet metal that is used to create ductwork that supplies ventilation to living and working spaces has to be able to withstand the pressure created by the system in order to follow the building code. The standard thickness increases for larger dimensions of piping made from sheet metal so it can withstand the stresses of greater length and diameter without buckling under its own weight. The two most common metals used for ductwork are aluminum and galvanized steel, and the requirements for both are listed in the International Mechanical Code book. Further guidelines are also found in the SMACNA HVAC Duct Construction – Metal and Flexible book, which further clarifies best practices for a host of possible scenarios. When you’re ready to find out what we can do for you, give us a call at 408-295-2182.

What Are the Benefits of Custom Ductwork Fabrication?

Fabricating custom ductwork is necessary to make sure that your ducts are connected right and customized to your unique home. A custom heating and air conditioning system delivers results that are sufficient and consistent with your needs. Before you choose the ideal HVAC installer, learn more about the main benefits of fabricated custom ductwork.

Right Size

No HVAC installation is made with a one-size-fits-all plan. The sizes of most homes are different along with the duct units. Custom fabricators will make careful measurements of your walls and install ducts that are never too small or too large. Ducts that are too small will not produce enough heating or cooling, and ducts that are too large will waste it.

Improved Energy Efficiency

Custom-made ducts are free of cracks, holes and other imperfections that cause air leaks. The airflow is secured to prevent a loss of as much as 80% of heat or cool air. Greater energy efficiency means more comfort because you don’t need to get up and readjust the thermostat constantly.

Enhanced Performance

Your home’s performance increases once the ducts become more efficient. The rooms cool down or heat up faster, and you won’t feel major temperature differences when moving from one part of the room to another. Instead, the custom parts are fitted to maintain stable temperatures and ensure comfort all year round.

Lower Energy Bills

Improved energy efficiency means reduced energy bills over time. Properly installed ducts help the average homeowner to save hundreds of dollars a year. In addition, most custom installations are made to accommodate any budget.

Fast Installation

Custom fabrications come in a large variety of costs, sizes, and designs. Speed is the factor that is the same with all installations. Some companies can start building the ducts on the same day that they receive the sketch and install the parts the next day. Making custom ductwork is not difficult for a good company, and the project will not take more than a few days to complete.

Repairing an HVAC system is one of the costliest home projects there is. If you don’t do the installation right the first time, you’ll continue needing repairs for decades. Homeowners should consider customizing their ductwork and increasing the efficiency of their heating and cooling systems. To learn more about our services and get started, call our company today at (408) 295-2182.

What’s the Best Quality Sheet Metal for Ductwork?

When installing ducts in a facility, the type of material that goes into these systems is often overlooked. However, one of the most important elements in ductwork is sheet metal. If you want your ducts to work effectively and efficiently, you need ducts with designs that can prevent leakage when moving air through the HVAC system, and sheet metal is the key. There are a couple of different types of sheet metal materials that are ideal for use in ductwork:

  • Galvanized mild steel
  • Aluminum

With either of these materials, your system will be able to effectively maintain the air quality in any space with minimal risk of leakage. Galvanized mild steel is used most often for building ducts. This material’s zinc coating helps prevent corrosion and rust buildup. Its versatility also allows fabricators to design ducts in different shapes to meet specific installation needs.

Ducts make with galvanized mild steel are always fabricated using duct wrap, which helps reduce noise and prevent the loss of cold or hot air that could otherwise occur without any insulation in place. Some ductwork is made with insulation panels that don’t require any additional lining and are suitable for instant installation. With the help of this insulation, you can benefit from additional cost-effectiveness and reduced energy expenses.

Aluminum sheet metal is another popular option because of its lightweight construction that facilitates easy installation. Aluminum sheets typically consist of pre-insulated panels. Once the duct sections are cut to size, sections are attached at the seams using aluminum tape and glue.

The ductwork that Meets Industry Standards

Top-quality ductwork made with galvanized mild steel and aluminum sheet metals will meet Energy Star® standards, which means that these systems are among the most energy-efficient. A reliable sheet metal fabricator will be able to provide you with sufficient steel or aluminum duct systems that meet these standards while helping ensure you get the most from your ductwork, lowering energy costs and maximizing your HVAC system’s longevity.

In addition to long-lasting and efficient ductwork, a good fabricator will also be able to cover nearly every other aspect of your HVAC systems, providing custom fabrication for a wide variety of components such as offsets, duct elbows, and transitions. If you’re ready to get started, call (408) 295-2182 today!

How Can You Fabricate Ductwork by Yourself?

Most homeowners hire professional technicians to repair their HVAC units. When you want to save money, you might wonder if you have what it takes to do your own ductwork.

Depending on how handy you are with a few simple tools, you could craft ductwork that might work well in your HVAC. You can fabricate your own ductwork by following these steps.

Gather the Necessary Materials

Before you make your own ductwork, you need to make sure you have the right materials and tools on hand. You should start by purchasing a piece of sheet metal that measures four by eight feet.

You also should make sure you have a table and work area that is large enough to accommodate the sheet metal. After you buy the metal and tools like a sheet metal hammer and steel ruler, you can start making ductwork for your HVAC.

Measure and Mark the Sheet Metal

Using the steel ruler, you can then start measuring and marking the metal before cutting and forming it. Place the steel ruler anywhere from 10 to 12 inches from the metal’s long edge. After lining up the ruler to the sheet metal, mark the metal at one inch in two places. Make sure the marks are two feet apart.

Then slide the ruler away from the metal’s edge until the edge of the ruler lines up at one of the one-inch marks. Locate the measurement on your ruler that corresponds with the width of the duct and then mark the metal at this point. Repeat this for one more inch.

Continue this process to measure for the height and length as well as one more measurement for the width of the duct. The last measurement should be marked at the ¼-inch mark. When you are finished marking the metal, you should have a pattern of:

  • One inch
  • Width of the duct
  • Height of the duct
  • Width of the duct
  • ¼-inch

When this pattern is in place, you are ready to put the ductwork together.

Bending the Metal

Bending and crafting the metal into ductwork requires you to use a lock former machine. Follow the measurements on the metal to bend it at each mark. You will have a ¼-inch lip on the duct when it is finished. Use a sheet metal hammer to clamp this down and lock the duct into place.

Ductwork does not have to cost you a lot of money. If you are handy with working with sheet metal, you could craft your own for your HVAC. Call us today at 408-295-2182 for more information.

Why Professionals Should Help With Your Commercial Ductwork?

Air quality is one of the defining features of a workspace. Fresh, clean, well-filtered air is a necessary part of a positive, peaceful, and ultimately productive work environment; poorly filtered air is unpleasant to breathe and can even lead to health issues. Your building’s ducts play an integral role in maintaining air quality.

When left unattended, they can develop an escalating series of issues: a clogged filter leads to an overworked motor, which eventually gives out and stops filtering air for the entire building. The easiest way to prevent large problems is to address them while they’re still small – and that means the professional handling your duct maintenance needs to notice them.

Commercial Ductwork Needs Professional Care

Ducts aren’t something you can just clean yourself, or assign to regular janitorial staff. An HVAC professional will be able to:

  • Assess the state of your ducts and the maintenance required.
  • Provide timely and necessary repairs.
  • Clean to a level that helps prevent air contamination.
  • Comply with commercial health and safety regulations.

The need for professional attention starts at the installation of your duct system; incorrectly installed units and neglected repairs will eventually lead to more costs and problems for your business. This makes it important that the technician you hire knows their work and cares about your company’s quality of air.

Work done right the first time will result in lower costs for your business, a better environment for your employees, and a duct system that is easier to maintain in the future. After installation, regular maintenance is key to keeping your duct system from developing issues. It can often be more difficult to properly clean mold or dust buildup than it is to prevent them from happening in the first place. A professional maintenance service will change filters, fix leaks, and keep your air clean and breathable.

Commercial ductwork is a cost that your company can’t afford to cut. From installation to maintenance, every step requires attention and expertise. By investing in professional services, you know that your budget is spent efficiently and effectively and that you are getting the quality of air your business deserves.

If your ducts need a professional, give us a call at 408-295-2182. Our team of experts will provide your company with a consistent quality of work that you won’t find anywhere else.

Does Heating and Cooling Duct Work Take a Long Time to Install?

Ductwork is an important part of your heating and air conditioning set up. Ductwork is used for distributing air throughout your home once it has gone through the heater or air conditioner. It also sucks air back through the ducts to create equilibrium in the home. Your ductwork has a direct impact on air quality. Whether you run a warehouse or a small office, air conditioning and heating is a necessity.

Over time, ductwork can need replacing. It may need to be replaced because of a bad design that is hampering air flow, or because it is simply older. Bad ductwork can have an effect on employee productivity due to reduced air quality and/or bad air circulation. When choosing to get your ductwork replaced, time is an issue. You want your office, warehouse, store, or other business to be back up and running as quickly as possible.

What factors affect how long ductwork replacement takes?

It is hard to give a definitive timeframe for all ductwork since there are many factors that affect how long it will take to replace ductwork.

These include:

  •  Building Size
  • Number of Air Conditioning Units
  • How much redesigning is necessary for better air flow.
  • Accessibility of ductwork.
  • If the construction is new or already existing.
  • Type of ductwork.

While each item on this list plays a factor in the length of time for ductwork replacement, normally ductwork replacement takes at least a day or two for normally sized buildings. Larger buildings may take three to four days, depending on the size of course. If you have a large building with more than one air conditioning unit, that will also have an effect on the installation time.

The other major factor in time mentioned above is if ductwork is being installed in new construction or an already existing building. Ductwork installed in new construction can be done quickly because there are fewer obstacles to accessibility. New construction also offers the benefit of being able to work a new design, versus having to work within an old design and possibly find ways to improve it.

Also, ductwork types affect installation time. Industrial style sheet metal ductwork will take longer than the fiberboard styled duct working. If you are building new construction, or need your ductwork replaced in your current building, we can help you! Call us at 408-295-2182 today.

When to Replace Your AC Unit

A new air conditioning unit can be a big expense for your home or business, but an old, inefficient unit incurs frequent repair costs and high utility bills. To save money on repairs and utility costs, replacing the entire unit may be worth it.

The biggest sign that you need to replace your AC unit is the age of your unit. Air conditioning units are not meant to last much more than 10 to 15 years. If your unit is over this range or close to it, it is better to replace it than to pay for repairs. An old unit can also cost you money by causing your utility bills to be much higher than other homes or companies in your area. Since cooling and heating often make up as much as 44 percent of your utility bill, this higher cost can add up quickly.

Besides not working as effectively, older AC units often use R22 refrigerant, a substance that is no longer being used in newer models because of its environmental hazards. Due to the expense and difficulty in replacing the type of refrigerant in your current unit, replacing the entire unit is the more efficient option. Another problem with older units is they often have a low SEER rating, which means it costs you more to run it. Newer models must have a SEER rating of at least 13, to ensure a higher efficiency.

Other Signs You Need to Replace Your AC Unit

Some other factors to consider when deciding if you need to replace your AC unit are extra dust in your home or business, and an inconsistency in the cooling and humidity levels.

If you have started to notice that your residence or business is constantly coated in dust, even after cleaning, this may be a sign that your air ducts are leaking. Not only do these leaks cause the excess dust, they also make your system less efficient which brings up the cost of using the unit. A lot of noise coming from your unit can also be a sign of inefficiency. The ductwork may not be large enough for the size of your home or business.

Another sign that it’s time to replace your AC unit is the comfort level of your home or business is inconsistent or hard to maintain. The air conditioner is meant to keep humidity levels low and consistent to make your home or business feel more comfortable. If this is not the case, or if the temperature fluctuates from room to room, it is probably time to get a new unit.

In some of these cases, a repair may be possible to fix the unit. However, if the cost of the repair is going to be almost as much as a replacement, and your unit is almost at the age limit, it is more effective for you to replace it rather than repair it.

If you any of the above describes your current situation, call us today at 408-295-2182 to get started on achieving a more efficient home or business.

Ductwork in Commercial Businesses is Often To Blame for Heating and Cooling Problems

Ductwork Problems and HVAC

One of the most interesting things commercial business owners can view is how mechanical engineers design ductwork and how fabricators use those designs to create ductwork for HVAC systems.

The more complex part of ductwork design is how sheet metal fabricators use design instructions and specified materials to create commercial ductwork. Most facility and plant managers take for granted the complexities involved in fabricating ductwork for HVAC systems. Fabricators need to know specific ductwork dimensions, configurations and placement of ductwork in commercial buildings.

Heating and Cooling Problems Relate to Ductwork

Sheet metal fabricators are detail oriented individuals and know matching size, location, fabrication materials and HVAC specifications is crucial to avoiding heating and cooling problems.

Another important feature of ductwork fabrication is proper insulation. Today’s ductwork is comprised of galvanized mild steel and lined with fiberglass duct wrap. In some cases, ductwork may be fabricated from aluminum.

There are several types of ductwork available for HVAC systems. These include:

Sheet metal

Duct board

Flexible

 

How Ductwork Causes Heating and Cooling Problems

Improper ductwork design or materials can cause heating and cooling problems. Ductwork is a system whereby heated or cooled air is passed through to output vents. In HVAC systems there is an input and output vent that allows air to circulate freely from the HVAC operating system through ductwork to vents.

Humidity in areas like San Jose can impact the operating efficiency of ductwork. As humid air passes through ductwork, it tends to cling to duct walls. Tiny microscopic dust particles cling to the moist duct walls and buildup of particulate narrows the free passage of heated or cooled air through the HVAC system.

Reduction in Ductwork Efficiency

Another problem that affects ductwork in commercial businesses is when input and output vents become blocked by boxes, equipment, furniture or dust. This reduces the free flow of air through ducting systems and, by association, reduces air circulation throughout the entire commercial building.

Ductwork Leakage

Another possible cause of heating and cooling failure is leaking ducts. Leaking ducts may be caused by older, existing ductwork that no longer meets the output specifications which results in small leaks in ductwork connections. Look for leaks wherever there is a connection between ductwork sections and connections to the HVAC system.

Expert Ductwork Service

Choose expert sheet metal fabricators for installation of ductwork in your new building. Ductwork fabricators also retro fit ductwork for existing systems for greater efficiency and reliability.