Which Is Better, Flexible or Rigid Ductwork? – Sobieski Services | DE, NJ, PA, MD

Which Is Better, Flexible or Rigid Ductwork?

The ductwork in your home does a lot of important work out of sight in most locations. When installing new ducts in your existing or next home, it helps to know a bit about how it is built so that you can discuss it with your contractor. One of the main aspects of duct design is the type that will be used, either flexible or rigid.

Flexible, also known as flex ducts, can be easily molded to fit a variety of positions. As you would expect, rigid ducts are created in a fixed position, usually made of metal, and can’t be bent or curved without damaging it.

Why Not Flex?

From a brief description, flex ducts sound great. It’s important to realize however, that both ducts have their pros and cons. Flex ducts in particular are difficult to install correctly, the most common errors are:

  • installation around turns that are too sharp
  • duct length is too long (ducts can sag)
  • too many unsupported ducts put together
  • poor sealing that leads to air leaks These issues illustrate that there are some serious drawbacks to flex ducts in exchange for their flexibility.

The Energy Star program endorses the use of either type of duct, even though improper installation of flex ducts can lead to an inefficient home.

Which Ducts Should You Use?

When you are installing ductwork in a new home, you can design your home around the ductwork, which allows you to avoid unnecessary obstacles. This means there will be a clear path for rigid ductwork to follow, and will probably be a better choice. The alternative is when you are replacing or installing a part of system that has some tricky spots to fit ducts into. Flex ducts are great for short sections, instead of the whole system. In conclusion, there isn’t one type of duct that is better than the other in all situations.

For more information about ductwork, contact Sobieski Services. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).

Photo Credit: @boetter via Compfight cc

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