Rheia's air distribution technology aims to revolutionize how builders specify HVAC design, installation, and commissioning.
Published November 15, 2021
An Industry Long Overdue for Innovation
Construction materials and installation techniques are constantly changing and evolving. Innovations such as copper to pex, batt insulation to blown, shake wood shingles to composite materials, and many more have led to higher quality, lower maintenance, and easier installation. However, forced air duct systems have seen little innovation from connecting pieces of metal to deliver conditioned air from point A to point B.
New Technology Takes on Ever-Evolving Challenges
Yet, the requirement for leakage testing and software-based layout and design have increased the difficulty of installing systems that meet the minimum standards. That's where Rheia comes in. Rheia's supply air distribution ducts claim to overcome many of the challenges and deficiencies of traditional metal ducting systems.
What Makes Rheia Different?
Rheia is a compact duct delivery system comprising a manifold, duct, connectors, and diffuser components that snap together to form a near airtight air delivery system without tape or mastic.
The material is designed for the supply side of the HVAC system and can be installed with traditional air handlers and at typical static pressure and velocity.
Benefits of Rheia:
According to their website, Rheia systems will provide the following benefits:
- Increased energy efficiency by keeping all the ducts within the conditioned envelope and reducing system leakage.
- Built-in balancing capability to improve homeowner comfort and reduce hot and cold rooms.
- Lower installation time
- Reduced material waste
- More straightforward system design due to fewer parts (there are only 14 SKU's in the entire system)
As of this writing, EnergyLogic has not designed or tested a Rheia system. However, we are intimately familiar with contractors and builders' challenges in meeting the code's requirements, above-code programs, and homeowner expectations for HVAC systems. We will continue to pay close attention to the successes, disruptions, and challenges that Rheia will bring to the HVAC industry.
We find it exciting when new ideas that challenge the status quo come to market, especially when it is a potential improvement on a notoriously tricky aspect that impacts the home building process's energy efficiency and homeowner comfort.