One of the many problems that can affect a central cooling or heating system is inadequate airflow. The air passing through your home’s duct is not evenly distributed to every part of the house because there’s not enough airflow power to get it to all the rooms that need it.
This happens when a home has been built with undersized ductwork, and remote rooms suffer. In such cases, a duct fan is usually recommended. Overall, they’re intended to increase the efficiency of the air conditioner or furnace because the blowers are increased by adding a duct fan.
But a different dilemma arises here as there’s a need to decide what size duct fan you need.
How do you tell what size suits your home? What specific size is needed to produce the best results? Is the size of your home a factor in deciding what size duct fan you need?
These are questions that need to be answered if you’re to get it right. Truth is, getting it wrong may cause problems for you, as a wrongly sized duct fan may either not be enough or do too much.
Different Sizes of Duct Fans and Usage
1. 4-inch Duct Fan
The 4-inch duct fan, like the VIVOSUN 100 CFM unit, is, perhaps, the smallest among the most used fan sizes. Due to their small size, these units can only support airflow up to 100-220 CFM.
So, if you need to reduce resistance and ensure cool or warm air reaches rooms beyond 400 Cubic Feet away, you may need something bigger.
However, one simple formula is to multiply the square footage of the area by 1 to get the required CFM. These are suitable for small apartments, kitchens and bathrooms.
2. 6-inch Duct Fan
This is a slightly bigger category of fans than the 4-inch models. These ones can drive airflow up to 210 to 420 CFM. This can work effectively in homes and spaces between 200 and 450 sq ft.
So, if you have a cooling or heating system that’s only able to move airflow to over 200 CFM in an area larger than 450 sq ft, then you’d need a 6-inch Duct Fan. The AC Infinity Cloudline is a notable 6″ unit.
3. 8-inch Duct Fan
This is a pretty big duct fan in terms of capacity and airflow. This is a duct size category that will effectively work by moving air up to 400 to 800 CFM. This makes the units very effective for enhancing airflow in multiple rooms.
This inversely means areas covering between 350 and 750 sq feet and can travel through lengthy ductwork. The VIVOSUN 8-inch inline duct fan is a great example of such a unit size.
4. 10-inch Duct Fan
This is a whole-house duct fan with pretty big blades and highly efficient motors. A 10-inch Duct Fan, such as the iPower 10 Inch 862 CFM Inline Duct Ventilation Fan, usually has an airflow capacity of between 750 CFM and 1,000 CFM.
This duct fan is suitable for enhancing the airflow of central heating or cooling systems in multiple rooms. If you live in a home with 2-4 rooms, this is a good duct fan for you. This should also be effective in spaces ranging from 600 to 1,000 Square feet.
5. 12-inch Duct Fan
This super-sized duct fan is another whole-house fan with very far-reaching airflow. With wattage often exceeding 500 watts, this fan size category can push airflow upwards of 2,000 CFM.
They are great for shopping malls, hotels and restaurants because they can effectively support such large-scale heating and cooling systems with enhanced airflow that can move really far. One product of reckoning is the VEVOR Utility Blower Fan.
6. Extra-large Industrial Duct Fan
These are very large industrial and commercial units, exceeding 12 inches in size and providing airflow often exceeding 2,500 CFM. These are suitable for plants, factories, hotels, and other large commercial settings.
How To Know What Size Duct Fan You Need?
A common question many people ask is – What size duct fan do I need? Duct fans are sized based on uses. If you need a duct booster fan, it’s easier to size because of the general rule of thumb of 1 CFM per square foot.
Generally, if you have a 65 square ft bathroom that requires airflow, you’d need a 65 CFM booster fan. For an inline duct fan, this is slightly more complex. You’d need to know the length run, diameter and configuration of the duct, as well as air pressure.
You may also need to oversize the fan slightly by as much as 10%-20%. For duct size, a 40-70 CFM duct fan should do well in a duct with a diameter of around 4-inches.
However, when the duct size is larger, you should also go for a bigger fan, like using an 80 to 150 CFM fan for a 5 or 6-inch duct size.
As far as length run goes, if you’re able to tell the Cubic Feet of your ductwork, as well as the resistance, you should be able to tell how much CFM you need.
Overall, just be sure you go a little higher with the size of your duct fan, so as to take care of other variables including changes in temperature, pressure variations and increased resistance.
Some other times, especially for spaces beyond 100 CFM, some experts believe it’s best to calculate the required size by looking at the fixtures in the room.
For instance, a bathroom requires 50 CFM for the toilet, 50 CFM for a shower, 100 CFM for a jetted CFM, as well as 50 CFM for a bathtub. When you put all of that together, you’d require a fan of more than 250 CFM for that large bathroom.
Sizing your duct fan to ascertain what size you need can be a tough task. The first step is to know the square footage of the space that requires a duct fan for boosting airflow.
You also need to know the CFM of the existing cooling or heating system, so that you know what needs to be added.
We cannot overemphasize the importance of sizing a duct fan rightly; it can just be the difference between having the right temperature within your home or paying the ultimate price of discomfort and illnesses.