Our house is a bungalow with full basement and is currently heated via electrical baseboard heaters in every room.

I'm converting this to a central air system heated by a gas furnace, and possibly A/C.

Since I don't have any existing ductwork in my home, I'm wondering what the best resources, online or print, are for designing and running new duct work (Sizing, Zoning, register placements, etc).

  • Questions asking us to recommend or find a tool, library or favorite off-site resource are off-topic for DIY Stack Exchange as they tend to attract opinionated answers and spam.
    – ChrisF
    Apr 30 '14 at 8:37

While you may be able to do this yourself. There are many pitfalls, stumbling blocks, and code nuances that rookies are just not aware of. My advice is to get an experienced HVAC contractor involved, at least during the planning process.

Once the system is planned out, carrying out that plan is a fairly DIY friendly job. Unless of course, you have to deal with refrigerants. In that case, you'll likely have to contact a professional. Since you likely won't have the proper tools, training, licenses, etc. for working with refrigerants.

  • I think I actually like your approach better, and I think it should be the accepted answer. While it's never bad to educate yourself and be able to ask intelligent questions, the more I looked into it, the more I realized there are a TON of variables that go into HVAC design. The savings from designing a system without professional consultation could be greatly overshadowed in the long run by operating costs due to inefficiencies from such a DIY design.
    – Doresoom
    Apr 25 '14 at 13:52
  • After reading @Doresoom resources, some of which just point to more manuals, codes and calculations, the more I'm leaning towards getting it designed by a pro.
    – Willemk
    Apr 25 '14 at 17:11

This conference presentation (PDF) seems to lay out the process fairly well. It also mentions a few resources that go into more detailed calculations and considerations.

The Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association has an overview guide available here (PDF) for improving efficiency. They also have entire standards available for download for a fairly hefty price tag too.

There's also this seemingly in-depth duct loss calculator here.

It's by no means comprehensive, but you may be able to get a basic understanding of the design process.

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