Air conditioning ducts are the passages used to transfer treated air, hot or cold, throughout an AC system. When it comes to ducting options, many people aren’t fully aware that there are plenty of duct options on the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) market. So, when considering AC ducting installation, a few factors play a big role in determining the most suitable type of ductwork, namely budget, space, and purpose. And although there are differences between the ductwork choices out there, there is often an overlap that demands the use of two or more types of ducting in a single AC system.
Types of AC Ductwork
Rigid air ducting can be described as heavy, tough, and bulky, and can be categorised into the following three subtypes:
- Sheet metal ducts: these AC ducts are usually made out of galvanised steel and aluminum. They are known to be very durable and can withstand the test of time. Also, due to the fact that metal ducts are impermeable, they are unlikely to accumulate crud and dangerous mold that can affect the air’s quality. One disadvantage to note about metal ducts is that they can be expensive.
- Fiberglass-lined ducts: in order to further insulate sheet metal ducts, they are often lined with fiberglass. The reason why fiberglass adds to the value of sheet metal ducts is its ability to reduce noise, which makes it convenient for office and commercial buildings. On the other hand, the biggest drawback about fiberglass-lined ducts is that, over time, they are likely to break down and deteriorate, releasing fiberglass particles into the air we consume. This can be a major health hazard, especially in the long run.
- Fiberboard ducts: these types of ducts are great for cooling and heating systems because they are inherently insulated due to the way they are made. Fiberboard ducts consist of two parts: an interior surface of resin-bonded strands of fiberglass, as well as an exterior surface which is basically a slate of reinforced foil that contributes to insulation. However, fiberboard ducting systems are susceptible to molding and mildew growth in humid climates and require regular maintenance.
This type of ductwork, also known as flex AC ducts, is most commonly installed in tight spaces where there isn’t enough room for rigid ductwork. What makes flexible ductwork important in central air ducting systems is the way they complement rigid ductwork; flex ducting speeds the installation process by reducing the number of joints, elbows, and offsets in duct fixtures. Furthermore, because flexible ducts are made out of wire coil and covered with bendable plastic, they are —as the name suggests— flexible enough to be shaped into the shape that best suits the situation.
Consult a Professional
The quality of air conditioning ductwork is an important, if not the most important, component of your AC system. If you are thinking about installing or replacing HVAC ducts at your house or business, it’s recommended that you discuss the types of duct systems with a qualified HVAC specialist to have a better understanding of what works best for you and your property.