Your Guide to the Various Types of DuctsDucts are the means by which air is distributed throughout your home and exhausted outside. If you’re in the market for new ducts or considering replacing your existing ductwork, it’s important to understand the available options. Ducts come in different shapes and sizes, and can be made out of a variety of materials. Here are the main duct types.

Flex Ducts

Flexible ductwork is made of lightweight but durable plastic and is often surrounded by insulation. It can bend in almost all directions. It is commonly used in attics and cramped spaces. Flexible ducts can be inefficient and difficult to seal if installed incorrectly. You should use the minimum length of these ducts to make connections to avoid impeding system performance.

Rigid Ducts

Rigid ducts can’t be curved or bent the way flex ducts do. They are usually manufactured from sheet metal or rigid fiberglass duct board.

  • Sheet metal ducts are commonly made of galvanized steel or aluminum. They may be rectangular, cylindrical or have a spiral, oval shape. They are the most durable among all the duct types available. Their non-porous surface makes them the most resistant to mold and biological growth. Sheet metal ducts may be lined with fiberglass to provide insulation, prevent condensation and reduce HVAC system noises.
  • Fiberglass duct boards are constructed from resin-bonded glass fibers. They have an exterior foil face that acts as a water vapor retarder and air barrier. Their interior is sealed to prevent the entry of fiberglass fibers into the air stream. These duct boards have a smooth finish that improves airflow. They are inexpensive to install, and they offer superior thermal and acoustical performance.

Some HVAC systems may require you to install specific types of ducts. Before installing new ductwork, ensure your preferred type can work well with your HVAC system. For more expert advice on duct types, contact us at Stack Heating & Cooling. We’ve been serving the Greater Cleveland area for more than 30 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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