Some of you may have heard about a duct booster fan or the booster fan, and for others, it may be something new. A duct booster fan helps in fine-tuning your home’s heating and cooling system. With its help, you can bring in either more warmth or cool air, according to the season, in a room. The purpose of this post is to give you some relevant facts about the duct booster fan and also to tell you how to wire a duct booster fan to the blower.
What Is A Duct Booster Fan?
It is a fan-like device that can be attached inside the ductwork of your HVAC system. In practice, a duct booster fan increases the flow of air to rooms of your home that are at a distance from heating and cooling systems. The popular thinking is that a booster fan will help push in more air to the said room. In fact, this is the very reason why they are installed along those stretches of the duct, which are long.
Installing A Duct Booster Fan To Blower?
A booster fan that fits inside a regular duct register is the easiest to install. All you need to do is unscrew and remove the louvered or shuttered cover and screw the booster fan in its place. The fan will have its own slatted register grille. Pull out the fans wire through the grille and plug it in the power source. Replace the cover and your job is done.
All booster fans are not easy to install. The process becomes more difficult when the duct boot in your home is not of standard size. Instead, it is so small that a fan won’t fit inside it. Usually, you will find these in the floor ducts. Your only option now is to replace your small duct boot with a bigger one. This is how to wire a duct booster fan to blower –
Step 1 – Remove the floor covering by pulling it back to expose a 2feet x 2 feet section of the subfloor.
Step 2 – Cut out a portion of the subfloor to expose the boot and duct connection. You will need a circular saw to do this. The best practice is to cut and remove the entire portion that spreads from one joist to another. Removing the complete section makes t easy to reattach once the job is completed. Keep the cutout part safely.
Step 3 – Using a screwdriver unbolt the sheet metal. While doing so, hold the boot to the duct. Once unscrewed, take out the old boot.
Step 4 -Make the register hole bigger. You may use a small saw for this.
Step 5 – Attach the new boot to the duct, tighten the screws, and turn a few rounds of foil tape around the joint. This will seal the connection and make it more secure.
Step 6 – Now you need that portion of the subfloor that you had kept safely. Replace it and tighten the screws.
Step 7 -Put the floor covering back in place.
Step 8 – Now that the new and bigger boot is in place, you can install the booster fan inside it as already mentioned above.
Installing An In-Line Duct Booster Fan
If your home has a tiled floor or a hardwood floor, you will need to change your plans. This is because a drop-in kind of model will not work with such flooring. What you need now is an in-line duct booster fan
Step 1 – Use a felt tip marker and mark a rectangular outline on the duct. To identify the exact area, read the dimension specifications mentioned on the product.
Step 2 – With the help of a jigsaw, equipped with a blade used for cutting metals, make a clean cut along the marked outline and remove the cutout. When using a jigsaw, you will need a pilot hole for the angle grinder or the blade. This hole can be made with the help of a power drill fitted with a half-inch drill bit.
Step 3 – Place the fan inside the cutout, making sure that the blades of the fan do not touch the walls of the duct. The other thing of importance is the fan direction. Make sure that the fan blows air towards the opening of the duct.
Step 4 – Hold the fan steady with one hand and screw it to the duct wall. The screws will be provided with the fan.
Step 5 – Secure the edges of the fan with foil tape.
Step 6 – Connect the fan to a power source either by plugging or by hardwiring to an already existing circuit.
Is A Duct Booster Fan An Ideal Solution
Ideally, your HVAC duct system should be designed in such a manner that there is no requirement of a booster fan. However, many homeowners land up making the basic mistake of choosing an undersized furnace. When that is the case, the flow of air gets impacted. In such a case, the booster fan is just a temporary measure. This is because an undersized HVAC unit works under tremendous pressure to cool your relatively big home. The worst-case scenario is that constant pressure can seize your AC. A booster fan may give you temporary respite but does nothing to take care of the core problem. So, a duct booster fan is thought of as a cop-out when you don’t want to deal with the real problem.
When faced with weak airflow problems, ask an HVAC technician to identify its cause. Addressing the root of the problem is more important than applying temporary measures. The professional will inspect your entire system and identify the problem area. A duct booster fan isn’t the real solution if the weak airflow occurs because the duct seams aren’t sealed properly or because there exist disconnects in the ductwork. On the other hand, the deficiency could be somewhere in the insulation. The whole point is that a duct booster fn is not a sure shot solution.