When my husband and I built a home from the ground up, we consulted with a general contractor, plumber, electrician and HVAC technician. We wanted to make sure we got everything right, and weren’t stuck living with a silly mistake. Although the general contractor was very knowledgeable about planning the layout of the house, he was not specialized in electrical, plumbing, or HVAC systems. I know that everything from the location of power outlets and the thermostat, to the ductwork and drains will impact our everyday life, budget, and comfort. I think I spent the most time consulting with the HVAC professional. Determining what type of heating and cooling system would work best for us was quite a challenge. We wanted a system that would provide year round temperature control without costing a fortune in energy bills. We were hoping for a zoned system that would allow us to customize temperature settings room by room. We eventually settled on a forced air furnace and central air conditioner with a duct system concealed in the ceilings and crawl space. At that point, I didn’t realize how intricate and important the design of the duct system is. To ensure maximum airflow and energy efficiency of the HVAC system, the ducts cannot feature any sharp bends. The number and placement of the HVAC vents in the various rooms is extremely important. It was helpful that the HVAC contractor was able to fabricate the metal ductwork, because he could accommodate our timetable and verify the quality of materials. Now that the HVAC system is installed and up and running, we couldn’t be happier with the results.