Advanced Strategy Guideline: Air Distribution Basics and Duct Design

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


This report discusses considerations for designing an air distribution system for an energy efficient house that requires less air volume to condition the space. Considering the HVAC system early in the design process will allow adequate space for equipment and ductwork and can result in cost savings. Principles discussed that will maximize occupant comfort include delivery of the proper amountof conditioned air for appropriate temperature mixing and uniformity without drafts, minimization of system noise, the impacts of pressure loss, efficient return air duct design, and supply air outlet placement, as well as duct layout, materials, and sizing.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages46
StatePublished - 2011

Bibliographical note

Work performed by IBACOS, Inc., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-5500-53352

Other Report Number

  • DOE/GO-102011-3461


  • air distribution
  • comfort
  • duct design
  • integrated design
  • Manual D
  • Manual S
  • right-size HVAC


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