An HVAC system distributes air (cool or warm air) throughout your home, helping keep your house comfortable. As such, air conditioning HVAC system installation is something most people will have to get done sooner or later.

It helps to know a little bit more about these units that are used to heat or cool a building by pumping conditioned air through the ducts and around the room. In particular, this article will deal with plenums in HVAC systems.

What Is a Plenum in HVAC Systems? – Importance, Types, Installation, and Maintenance

Importance of Plenum

A plenum is a part of an HVAC system, usually called an air handling unit, that distributes conditioned air throughout your home. It is the space between the structural ceiling and a drop-down ceiling that is used for air circulation.

In many cases, a plenum unit box is made of a sheet metal component whose main function is to return air to the air conditioning unit to improve the efficiency of your HVAC heat furnace, ventilation system, and air handling capacity.

When functioning at its best, a plenum can cause the cost of heating and cooling a building using conditioned air to go down significantly, which is why this is a very important part of any HVAC unit.

If there is any damage to the plenum, you will probably notice a reduction in efficiency and air quality, while an increase in your electricity bill may also occur. An experienced HVAC repair technician can pinpoint where the damage has occurred and take steps to fix it.

Two Types of Plenums

There are two types of air conditioning plenum boxes that improve the heating and cooling service of an HVAC, and these are the supply plenum and return plenum. They are normally rectangular, and their main function is to distribute the airflow uniformly throughout the building.

  • Supply Plenum

The supply plenum in an air conditioning HVAC system is connected directly to the supply ducts and distributes air throughout the building, particularly heated or cooled air. Usually, the supply plenum is located above the ceiling.

  • Return Plenum

On the other hand, the return plenum box is connected to the return ducts or supply outlets of the air conditioning HVAC system. It brings air back to the HVAC for reconditioning. The return plenum is usually located within a wall or underneath the floor.

Benefits of a Plenum in an HVAC System

A properly installed plenum can help with improved cooled air distribution that makes the entire HVAC system a lot more efficient. Let’s dive into some of the many benefits of the installation of plenums in an HVAC system:

  • Reduced Noise Levels

A good quality and properly installed plenum works to distribute air as quietly as possible in an indoor space. This makes it a must-have installation in buildings that have huge HVAC systems where there is a need to keep the noise levels to a minimum.

  • Better Indoor Air Quality

Installing a plenum can help prevent poor indoor air quality from being distributed throughout the building by your HVAC unit. The return plenum, in particular, is connected to the HVAC filters and will bring back air to the AC unit for reconditioning before it is sent back through the building.

  • Increased Energy Efficiency

An installed plenum box will reduce energy costs when circulating conditioned air throughout your house or commercial building. This is done by ensuring that the air is distributed evenly throughout your home, rather than having hot and cold spots that will cause your HVAC unit to work a lot harder. All this will result in lower energy costs.

  • Improved Air Distribution

Your air conditioner produces better airflow and air quality when plenums are installed because it will work hand-in-hand with the supply plenum or return plenum. All the rooms in the building will receive good quality air that will be at the right temperature to maintain maximum comfort levels.

HVAC Plenum Installation and Cost

When adding plenum boxes to your cooling system and heating installation expect to pay varying amounts depending on the type of plenum you are installing and the condition your HVAC unit is in. Installation costs can range from $200 to $500 for a plenum box repair job.

However, regardless of the installation and repair costs, which may be high in some cases, the installation of a plenum must always be done by an experienced person. As such, a professional HVAC contractor is required to install a plenum in HVAC system.

The overall cost of air conditioning HVAC system installation will, therefore go up when a plenum is also required. This installation is, however, a long-term investment that will bring a lot of returns through energy savings and improved HVAC efficiency.

HVAC Plenum Maintenance

HVAC repair and maintenance costs will go up if a plenum is involved. While the return plenum is easy to access, the supply plenum can be the opposite in some residences. That is why if the plenum is damaged, an HVAC technician or HVAC repair professional with experience in air conditioning repair/cooling and heating repair will need to be hired.

Most air conditioning services that deal with plenum maintenance have something to do with the filters as they require the most attention. Every three months or so, you need to hire a professional to service the HVAC system ductwork and replace these filters.

Final Thoughts

If you want your HVAC system to work at its best, you can install two plenum boxes to make sure the air is heated or cooled at the highest level of efficiency. An air conditioning HVAC system installation contractor can assist you in choosing the best option for your AC unit and type of residence. If you are looking for an air conditioning installation in Los Angeles, you need to call a few different local companies to understand their pricing and the scope of work.

When an HVAC repair technician comes to service the HVAC air heating furnace, ventilation, and cooling system, be sure to ask them to look at the plenum filters as well. You can visit our webpage and learn more from relevant blog content about plenums, HVAC systems, and how to keep your air conditioning units working at their best.

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