Understanding the Different Types of Ducts
Your ductwork plays a major role in your heating and cooling system’s ability to perform efficiently in the variable Delaware and New Jersey climate. Whether you’re having new ducts installed or old ones repaired, it helps to know something about your options.
Sheet metal — This is the most common type of duct. It’s made from galvanized steel formed into a rectangular or round shape. Some are lined with fiberglass insulation to increase their energy efficiency and reduce their noisiness. Duct sections are joined by sliding them together. Elbows, angles, and other fittings are also used. Joints are prone to air leakage, so they should be tightly fit and sealed with mastic.
Fiberglass duct board — These ducts are made of fiberglass boards. They’re cheaper than sheet metal and carry less noise from the furnace or A/C. On the downside, they’re also less durable, more susceptible to damage by pests such as mice, and more likely to develop mold. They’re most commonly used to create the duct system’s main trunk lines from which the smaller lines branch off as they head out to individual rooms. Connections are usually sealed using UL 181A listed tape.
Flexible duct — Commonly known as flexduct, this type of duct is made by covering a wire coil with plastic liner, fiberglass insulation, and finally a vapor barrier on the exterior. It’s used in tight spaces where rigid ducts can’t be installed or to connect rigid ductwork with a supply air register. While convenient and quiet, it’s relatively energy inefficient, prone to kinks and bends that impair airflow, and easily damaged. It should be used sparingly.
Because no two homes or duct systems are the same, the use of these duct types varies. Your technician can explain why a certain type was chosen for your system.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues — especially HVAC and plumbing issues — so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.
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