Whether you’re building or renovating a home, the heating and cooling system is one of your most important considerations. That includes the furnace and air conditioner, of course, but also the air ducts.
The job of ductwork is to direct air coming out of your HVAC unit, and distribute it to different spaces in your home. Simply put, without ducts, every room of your home would be a different temperature.
You may be surprised to learn that there are four different types of ducts you can install in your home. Each comes with their own pros and cons. So it’s important to know about each one before making a decision for your project.
Made of galvanized steel or aluminum, rigid sheet metal is the most common type of ductwork. The thick, solid wall makes the duct very durable. The interior is known to trap dust and other particles, but the smooth surface is generally easy to clean. So if you go with sheet metal in your home, it’s a good idea to get your ducts professional cleaned now than then to maintain proper air quality.
This type of duct is made of fiberglass strands held together by resin. Foil is added to the exterior for insulation. The inside surface is textured from the fiberglass strands, and dust and debris can get trapped in these crevices – so long-term air quality and efficiency are a potential concern. Fiberboard ducts are generally less expensive than sheet metal.
This type has a similar construction of a sheet metal duct, plus an added fiberglass lining to limit heat loss. Because of the sealed interior lining, fiberglass ducts require intense cleaning that can make the ductwork less durable. One advantage is the fiberglass lining can reduce the sound of the HVAC system, making it a popular choice in commercial buildings
As the name implies, these ducts are not rigid like the other types. They’re made with a steel spring coil covered in thick plastic. Being flexible makes this duct a good choice to fit in tight spaces. Flexible ducts are cheaper and easier to install than rigid ducts. However, it’s important to avoid punctures, kinks, or sags while installing, as these could hurt the performance of the HVAC system.
Choosing the right ductwork for your home comes down to the overall design, your needs for heat retention or noise reduction, and budget.
At Robert B. Payne, Inc., we’ve been providing Fredericksburg homeowner comfort for over 80 years. To consult our heating and cooling professionals about your ductwork and overall HVAC needs, give us a call at (540) 373-5876.