Duct And Cover: Choosing The Right Ductwork For Your Ducted Air Conditioning System

Construction & Contractors Blog

Ducted air conditioning in your home or place of business is the last word in climate control, and a well installed system can keep even large buildings cool, providing cool air quickly and efficiently to almost any number of rooms. However, a ducted air conditioner system is only as good as the ducts that feed the cool air to where it needs to go, and the importance of choosing quality ducts is often overlooked. Air conditioner ducts can generally be sorted into two basic categories, and choosing the right one for your needs can save you a lot of time and money and help you avoid potential future problems.

Rigid ducts

The traditional form of duct often seen in offices and other commercial buildings, rigid ducts are made of a variety of solid, robust materials:

  • Sheet metal ducts are extremely strong and durable, and the smooth surface of the metal prevents the accumulation of dust, dirt or dangerous moulds and pathogens. However, they can be considerably expensive, particularly if choosing corrosion-resistant aluminium, and need to be well-insulated to maximise efficiency.
  • Fibreboard ducts are much less expensive than metal ducts, both to purchase and install. They also serve as excellent sound dampeners to minimise the noise that comes from your ducts. However, they are much less durable than metal ducts, and can harbour mould and fungal spores if maintenance is not kept up.
  • Fibreglass ducts are more expensive than fibreboard but much more durable, making them less vulnerable to accidental damage. They also provide excellent sound dampening. However, ageing fibreglass ducts can release dangerous glass fibres into the air stream, and damaged parts generally need to be replaced rather than repaired.

Whatever material you choose, rigid ducts are more durable than flexible ducts, and their wide, smooth internal surfaces provide maximum airflow and efficiency. However, they are much more expensive and time-consuming to install than flexible ductwork, and the larger size of the ducts means more work knocking out walls and creating space.

Flexible ductwork

These telescoping tubes consist of metal coils insulated and protected by strong plastic covers. They can be extended, bent and guided around obstacles, making them much easier to install than rigid ducts since they require fewer building modifications to accommodate. These versatile ducts can be attached to existing rigid duct systems to extend their range. They are also less expensive than their rigid cousins, making them a popular choice for smaller properties and home air conditioning systems.

However, the efficiency of a flexible duct system depends largely on how well it is installed, and you will need to plan your duct layout carefully before work begins. Excessive kinks, bends and switchbacks in the layout of the ducts can dramatically reduce airflow and force your conditioner to work much harder, increasing your energy bills. The telescoping nature of flexible ducts also means that the internal surfaces of the ducts are not smooth, making them less efficient than rigid ducts.

If you have more questions about what ducts are right for you or need to schedule an appointment for ductwork, contact Ridge Airconditioning.


20 June 2016

Compelling and Creative Commentary on Construction and Contractors: A Blog

Welcome! My name is Frances, and this is my first blog. Whether you found me through a Google search or were passed my link by a friend, I am so glad you found my blog. I plan to fill it with a range of commentary on the world of contracting and construction work, and I hope that you find my ideas compelling and creative. I am a dog trainer, but I have always loved the world of construction. I tend to work a lot on the weekends and evenings, when my clients are off work. As a result, I have a lot of time to write during the day, and I decided to create this blog. Thank you for reading.