How to optimize HVAC ducting
I will be building a new home in Idaho in an area not serviced by natural gas. Most new homes there use electric heat pumps. In brief, super insulated and well sealed 2400 SF with 900 SF attached garage, 750 SF bonus room, conditioned crawl space, vented attic. I’ve never worked with heat pumps or ducting before. I’m uncomfortable turning the design over to an HVAC contractor without specific instructions. Two have told me the air handler will be placed in the garage and return will be through the (unconditioned) attic. Most homes I’ve seen have a single air return vent in the center of the house, which does not sound like a good idea to me. And I’ve seen a lot of ducting that is flexible, probably easy to install but doesn’t seem efficient. Would it be unreasonable to specify placement of the air handler in the crawl space and also specify smooth wall return lines from each room in the crawl space? (Yes, it will cost more.) Also the garage and bonus rooms only need to be kept above freezing and below melting so would it be appropriate to service those with a mini split? I don’t mind paying more up front for long term savings.
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