Which Ductwork Material Should You Be in the Market For?

ductwork materialBecause all the heated and cooled air in your home circulates through ducts multiple times every day, the type of ductwork material you use matters when it comes to system effectiveness, efficiency, and air quality. Ductwork extends to all parts of a house, mostly concealed inside ceilings and walls. However, over time, certain ducts may be prone to leak conditioned air, compromising heating and cooling performance and raising monthly operating costs. This is why using quality ductwork material is so important.

If you’re making plans for a new home or upgrading ductwork in an existing house, here’s an overview of ductwork material in residential applications:

  • Sheet metal. This is the most common and durable material typically utilized in home construction. Usually made of galvanized steel or aluminum, it is available in rectangular or round shapes, sized to accommodate common residential specifications. The smooth, internal metal surface supports optimum airflow and resists mold and bacterial growth. Some sheet metal ducts are also fabricated with internal fiberglass lining. This reduces the potential for air leaks due to deterioration over time. This lining also serves as soundproofing to reduce noise emitted by airflow through the ducts.
  • Fiberboard. Glued fiberglass strands molded into boards form square and rectangular ducts with a metal, foil external cover. Fiberboard ducts are generally less expensive than metal ductwork and quickly and easily cut to accommodate a variety of installation requirements. The material provides some inherent insulating properties to reduce heat loss or gain and also has sound-dampening benefits. However, the rough internal surface somewhat inhibits airflow and may support growth of mold and mildew in humid conditions.
  • Flexible ducts. Composed of an internal, steel spring core covered by polymer plastic, flex ducts are the least expensive and most adaptable choice for a variety of installations in difficult spaces. However, flex ducts may deteriorate over time and easily kink or sag during or after installation. Also, the ribbed internal surface reduces system airflow and efficiency.

Get more info about options for ductwork material for your home from the pros at Paitson Bros., your Terre Haute source for experienced HVAC sales and service for 100 years.

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