Your home's ducts are an integral part of your heating and cooling system, and provide the pathway for forced air that is cooled or heated to move throughout your home. There are several different types of ductwork available, each of which possesses a distinctive set of characteristics. Whether you are constructing a new home or are looking to replace aging ductwork, understanding the differences between the available types of ductwork can help you choose the variant that best suits your heating and cooling needs.
Flexible ductwork is one of the most common variants of ductwork available on the market, largely because it is fairly easy to install. Like their name would suggest, flexible ducts are made out of wire coils covered with plastic sheeting, which allows them to easily bend around corners and spaces with little effort. However, as they can be bent out of shape and require proper support, flexible ducts have the potential of sagging over time, reducing air flow and thus the effectiveness of your central heating and cooling systems.
Rigid Sheet Metal Ductwork
Rigid sheet metal ductwork is a common alternative to flexible ductwork, and is made out of flat panels of sheet metal. While a number of different metals are available, each with their own set of material advantages, aluminum is the most common due to its light weight and its natural rust resistance. However, it should be noted that rigid sheet metal ducts are more expensive than flexible ducts to the materials used in their construction. Further, rigid sheet metal ductwork has a more involved installation process when compared to flexible ductwork, which can drive up their initial cost and make them the less than ideal choice for some homeowners.
Rigid Fiberglass Ductwork
Rigid fiberglass ductwork are actually made out of sheet metal, but they have a lining of fiberglass on the interior. They function quite the same as sheet metal ducts, but the fiberglass provides both temperature and sound insulation, which means that you will lose less heat in transport, reducing your energy bills. Further, these types of vents can help reduce the amount of noise your central furnace and air conditioner make while in operation, helping to maintain the ambiance of your home or business. However, it should be noted that rigid fiberglass ducts are more expensive, and since fiberglass can hold onto moisture, they are also more susceptible to mold and mildew growth, especially in humid climates.
Talk to your HVAC contractor, someone like Getzschman Heating, LLC, about which ducts you'd like installed with you central air system.