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Duct or not to duct?

rockinroger | Posted in General Questions on

I know conventional wisdom dictates that ductwork should come off the trunk line and radiate out towards the exterior walls so registers can be placed above windows. I should say that I’m talking about New Orleans where homes are raised about 18″ off the ground on piers, so we run the ductwork through the attic. If it’s a two story house there is no room for chases between the floors. My question is, if one has a load bearing wall running the length of the structure,with living areas on either side, could you not run a soffitized duct on either side of the wall with vents in each room dispersing heat & A/C from the middle of the house, eliminating runnnig duct work out towards the windows? What would be the pros & cons of this? Thanks for your insights.

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    Designers of tight, energy-efficient homes often locate forced-air registers or diffusers near the center of the house rather than at the perimeter. This approach works well if the house has a very low rate of air leakage, has above-average levels of insulation, and has high-quality windows.

    If the house is built conventionally -- with average rates of air leakage, ordinary fiberglass batt insulation, and inexpensive double-glazed windows -- occupants can be uncomfortable unless the registers or diffusers are located near the building's perimeter.

  2. rockinroger | | #2

    Thank you again Martin, You are a veritable fountain of information & inspiration.

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