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How to install AC ducts?

I guess, simply put, my question would be: does the diameter and length of the AC ducts have any relation to the size of the AC unit? Greater explanation: A year ago when we moved into our current house we had an AC unit installed, and the fellas hooked it right up to the existing duct that lead up to the plenum and insulated flex ducts. Things have been fine until recently when my allergies started acting up. We got price quotes on a duct cleans which seem to range from $300-$500! Pricing out the tools and materials, I have discovered it to be MUCH cheaper to just replace the ducts myself (closer to $150). The existing ductwork seems to be a real mess (just laying on the ceiling) and looks very amateur: seven 8"or 12”insulated flex tubes all stemming from the plenum that seems to be constructed from "R-Matte Plus 3" insulating material and foil tape. My idea is to remove this makeshift plenum from atop the AC unit (ultimately seal that remaining opening) and create a round 6" aluminum duct stemming off from the duct that led up about 3’ to that makeshift plenum in the ceiling crawlspace. I would then run the round 6" aluminum duct straight out through the wall. This would come out in the master bedroom near the ceiling (10' ceilings). From there, by cutting a few more holes in couple more walls, I would be able to run this duct through all the rooms of the house in a large “L” shape that would be roughly 25’ long. (It would be visible in the rooms, but with some paint, I thought it would give an attractive industrial look.) I would cut holes in the ducts (OR make use of a "T-branch" in each room) and insert a diffuser for each room the duct passed through. To me this seems like a much more efficient system, and more easily accessible for future cleaning. My concerns are that this 6” round duct would be too small for the AC unit (can that happen?). Plus, not being an expert, is there anything else I’m overlooking?
Question asked by: Solafar

Asked on: 15 Oct 2009

This sounds like quite a complicated question! Best leave this for one of the DIY experts around here to answer in the comments.

If no answers come in a decent time then it may either be worth trying this one in the message boards or it may mean that no-one knows the answer, in which case I guess the only option would be to consult someone at a hardware store and see if they are happy to share their wisdom!

By: knowitall
Replied at: 18 Oct 2009
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ducts  install  

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