Installing new ductwork is a major project. There are a number of different duct options depending on your needs and your budget. What kind of ductwork material is best for your home? Here’s what you need to know.
Rigid Ductwork Material
You have several material options for rigid ducts. The most durable is sheet metal — either aluminum or galvanized steel. Aluminum is a lighter weight and less costly. Steel, coated with zinc to prevent corrosion, is typically insulated with duct wrap, which prevents energy loss, keeping the air hot or cold by the time it reaches your home. Steel costs more, but it also lasts longer, is less likely to leak, and it saves you in the long run by reducing energy costs.
Some sheet metal ducts are lined with fiberglass. This also acts as insulation and sound dampening. However, fiberglass can also break down over time. This can result in fiberglass particles mixing with the air as it travels through, which is detrimental to your health.
Finally, fiberboard ducts are made of compressed resin, lined with foil on the outside and fiberglass on the inside. It’s inexpensive but less durable than sheet metal. Plus, fiberglass is susceptible to mold growth, particularly in areas of high humidity.
Flexible Ductwork Material
If you need ductwork in tight or difficult-to-reach areas, you’ll need flexible ducts. Reinforced with metal wire, there are a variety of materials flexible ducts can be made of, from rubber to silicone to PVC to polyester fabric. Rubber and PVC are the most durable and provide the best energy efficiency. PVC and silicon also do well in high humidity and are less susceptible to mold.
Flexible ducts are inexpensive and easy to install. They require less maintenance than rigid ducts and lead to better air quality. However, they typically don’t last as long and aren’t as efficient. Talk to your HVAC contractor to see what kind of ductwork best fits your needs and your budget.
To get the best ductwork material for your home, contact us at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We provide Indianapolis with quality home-comfort solutions.