Heating and Air Conditioning Duct Terms
It is important to maintain clear air ducts within a temperature controlled building. Allowing dust, mold and microbes to build up within an HVAC system can trigger allergies and lead to illnesses. If you notice dust settling on furniture shortly after it has been cleaned, a moldy or musty smell after the heat or air conditioning has been turned on or an unusually high number of sinus problems, headaches or sore throats throughout the year, then you will likely need to have your ducts cleaned. Here are a few terms that will help you to understand the components of your HVAC system:
Ductwork: A network of ducts that channel heat and refrigerated air throughout a building. Ducts supply ventilated air in order to ensure thermal comfort and acceptable indoor air quality. Ducts are often made of galvanized steel.
Insulation: Any material used to prevent the transfer of heat, air, electricity or sound from one environment to another.
Flexible Duct: A duct made of a flexible plastic sheet and coiled metal wire.
Air Sock: A type of fabric ducting, typically made of polyester. Air socks are air distribution channels, rather than actual ducts since they do not transfer conditioned air.
Vibration Isolator: A rubber or canvas vibration absorbing insert designed to prevent the vibration from the blowers in the air handlers in the duct from transferring motion to the ducts.
Volume Control Damper: The method of adjusting the volume of air flowing through the ducts.
Smoke Damper: A motor operated damper designed to close when smoke is detected by a probe within the motor.
Fire Damper: A damper that closes when the heat of a fire raises the air duct above a certain temperature. Unlike smoke dampers, they are not electrically operated due to the possibility of a fire destroying the electrical system.
Plenum: The central air distribution and collection unit within the duct network. The supply plenum directs the heated or cooled air from the centralized unit to the various rooms within the temperature controlled building.