When my husband and I built our new home, we hired a general contractor to help us with the planning, layout and framework. We also hired licensed specialists to handle the electric, plumbing, heating and cooling. We spent a great deal of time and consideration on small details, such as the location of power outlets, style of water heater, and type of heating and cooling system. My husband and I researched shower heads, toilets, furnaces, heat pumps, boilers and air conditioners. Fortunately, the electrician, plumber and HVAC contractor were very knowledgeable and helpful. Their recommendations ensured that we made smart choices and invested in top quality equipment. The HVAC contractor impressed upon us the importance of the design and integrity of the duct system. He showed us examples of duct systems that were improperly installed, with all sorts of sharp bends and lots of seams. In order for the furnace and air conditioner to operate at peak efficiency, the duct system needs to be streamlined. Any flaw in design can lead to the accumulation of debris within the system, leaks, and restricted airflow. A poorly designed and installed duct system ends up costing a great deal of money in higher energy bills. Plus, the added wear and tear on the furnace and air conditioner results in more frequent repairs and premature failure. We also hoped to avoid bulky ducts taking up valuable space and detracting from the appearance of the home. The HVAC contractor worked through a custom sheet metal shop to have ducts fabricated to perfectly meet our requirements. Now that our home is complete, we are totally happy with the efficiency and operation of the heating and cooling system.