Guide to Understanding the Types of Ducts

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March 29, 2016

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Guide to Understanding the Types of DuctsDucts are available in many sizes, shapes and configurations. If you're looking to have new ductwork installed in your home, it's good to understand the different options you can choose from. Let's have a look at the types of ducts available.

Building Cavities

Wall voids, open spaces between ceiling joists and other building cavities can be used as ducts. They can be appealing at first because they save you money. However, they aren't recommended because their inner surfaces can hinder airflow and downgrade air quality.

Rigid Ducts

Rigid ducts are usually made of sheet metal. Just like the name suggests, they can't be curved or bent without getting damaged. The most common rigid ducts are made of aluminum or galvanized steel. They can be rectangular, round or oval in shape. They are highly durable and least vulnerable to mold and biological growth.

Some sheet metal ducts are lined externally or internally with fiberglass. The fiberglass lining insulates the ducts from heat loss and prevents condensation when the supply air is extremely cold or when the ambient humidity in the plenum is high. It also reduces HVAC-related noise levels.

Fiberglass Duct Board

A fiberglass duct board consists of a rigid fiberglass board with foil facing. Its smooth finish promotes good airflow. It has brilliant thermal and acoustical insulation properties and is inexpensive to install.

Flexible Ducts

These ducts are flexible enough to bend around obstacles. They are typically made of durable plastic material. They are lightweight, inexpensive and easy to install.

Flexible ducts have to be installed correctly to prevent air leaks. They should also be handled carefully because they can be cut, crushed or torn. Although you can use long lengths of these ducts, it's best to keep them short to avoid hampering system performance.

When installing any of these ducts, you should ensure that they perfectly complement other components of your heating and cooling system. If you'd like to know more about these types of ducts, please contact us at Hartman Brothers Heating & Air Conditioning. We serve the Fort Wayne area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in New Haven, Indiana and surrounding Fort Wayne area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 260-376-2961.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Mathias Rosenthal/Shutterstock”

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