Every business building has an HVAC system with a vast duct network, which you should be aware of. The HVAC system can transfer hot and cold air to various parts of the building thanks to its ducts. However, you should be aware that there are several sorts of duct systems if you recently had a new business building built. You may better appreciate its significance and why you should always keep it in top condition by learning about them. Continue reading to take a look at different types of HVAC ductwork.

1. What is HVAC ductwork?

First of all, you must understand what a duct is. To remove heated or stale air, ducts are conduits that distribute cooled air from the air conditioner throughout your home. Central air conditioning ducts can also be used for heating and filtering systems. We frequently overlook ducts when discussing HVAC systems, despite the fact that they are one of the vital components that play a significant role in keeping us warm or cool throughout the year. Air ducts are in charge of delivering warm or cooled air throughout the building’s rooms.

The remainder of the HVAC system would be useless without air ducts. People can employ a variety of duct systems in either a residential or commercial structure. Even though thorough knowledge of every duct system available is not necessary, it would be beneficial to be familiar with these duct systems. It will undoubtedly be useful, particularly for maintaining the duct system in your house or commercial facility.

2. Common HVAC ductwork types

2.1. Flexible ductwork

Typically tube-shaped, these ducts are constructed from a wire coil, covered in a pliable, tough plastic, and encased in insulation. Flexible ducting works best in difficult or awkward places when installation or usage of stiff ducts to connect non-flexible ductwork to an air supply outlet is not practicable. Flexible duct systems have unique installation requirements, just like the majority of central air conditioning components. For instance, in order to prevent minor sagging or snaking, flexible ducting needs to be properly anchored and maintained. Additionally, bends, curves, and kinks need to be avoided as much as possible because they restrict airflow and undermine the performance of the air conditioning system. The use of flexible ducts has several benefits, including quick and simple installation and frequently lower costs than rigid ductwork.

Flexible HVAC ductwork
Flexible HVAC ductwork

>> Read more: Types of heating system for home

2.2. Rigid ductwork

The shapes of rigid duct systems can be cylindrical or rectangular and come in a variety of sizes and materials. These ducts are frequently insulated. They are widely used because they are robust, long-lasting, and trustworthy. There are three typical types of rigid duct systems.

Sheet metal ducts: 

Galvanized steel or aluminum are typically the two materials used to make sheet metal ducts. Aluminum ducting are lightweight and simple to set up. Sheet metal ducts, like flexible ductwork, are mold resistant due to their nonporous nature, allowing for superior air quality for a longer period of time. Due to its ability to maintain its shape and resist being readily crushed, this kind of ductwork is the most resilient. However, where two pieces are linked, sheet metal ducts are more susceptible to leaks.

Rigid hvac ductwork
Rigid HVAC ductwork

Fiberglass-lined ducts: 

Some sheet metal ducts have fiberglass lining on the interior or exterior of the duct. Insulation from this lining keeps the air at the right temperature, prevents condensation from forming, and reduces HVAC system noise. Fiberglass-lined ducts are a common choice in office and commercial buildings because of their ability to suppress sound. 

The biggest drawback of this kind of air duct is that, over time, the fiberglass may disintegrate and release fibers into the air, which, when inhaled for an extended period of time, may result in health problems. Ducts with fiberglass linings are more challenging to maintain clean since doing so risks damaging the lining and dispersing more fiberglass particles into the air. 

Due to its porous surface, this form of ducting is also more susceptible to mold, mildew, and germs than flexible ducts or sheet metal ducts. HVAC specialists should clean fiberglass-lined ducts to stop the buildup of pollutants and stop the emission of fiberglass particles.

Fiberboard ducts: 

Fiberboard is constructed of compressed fiberglass strands that have been sealed to prevent particulates from entering the air. A foil covering that functions as an air and moisture barrier covers the exterior of these boards to provide protection. Ducts made of fiberboard are excellent insulators on their own and don’t need additional insulation. Additionally, they are the most affordable to install of all duct types. However, fiberboard ducting is susceptible to mold and mildew growth, just like fiberglass lined ducts. Additionally, the fiberboard ducts’ interiors are rough, which hinders airflow and lowers the HVAC system’s effectiveness.

2.3. Semi-rigid duct

Semi-rigid ducting is regarded as the greatest type of ventilation ducting currently on the market, offering installers and providing certain advantages. Because it is a zero leakage ventilation system, superior quality semi-rigid ducting aids in the operation of a ventilation system at its peak performance. High-quality semi-rigid duct systems, on the other hand, also have high crushability values. A few semi-rigid ducting systems also give the installer flexibility by allowing them to swap between round and oval ducts without sacrificing hydraulic pressure or system efficiency. Numerous semi-rigid duct systems contain anti-static and anti-bacterial linings, making maintenance simpler.

semi-rigid hvac ductwork
Semi-rigid HVAC ductwork

3. Efficient HVAC ductwork

To guarantee that your comfort is not negatively impacted, your house or office must have efficient ducting. Here are the qualities your duct system should have if you’re unsure of how efficiently it should operate.

  • Ductwork should be able to supply the proper amount of cold or hot air, no matter how much air is needed.
  • Ducts should have a suitable seal to maximize airflow and keep outside air from entering any building space.
  • The pressure drop through the air handler must adhere to the manufacturer’s specifications, and ductwork needs to be the proper size.
  • In order to maintain an even pressure throughout the house, the duct system needs to have an airflow that is correctly balanced between supply and return.
  • The duct system also reduces temperature gains and losses in the air. Because of this, it’s critical to maintain temperature variations between the air handler and the supply and return registers under control. Temperature swings that are too high or too low will reduce air duct efficiency and raise your energy costs.

>> Read more: HVAC ductwork installation

4. Duct maintenance

Your HVAC ductwork system, like any other system, can deteriorate or get damaged over time. Accidents can harm or deform the ducts, and as time passes, vibrations from the HVAC system can cause the joints and seals to become loose. The ducts may also become clogged with dust and other material. No of the type or quality of your duct system, without routine maintenance you might not get the most out of it.

Duct maintenance can bring many benefits for you and your HVAC system

  • improve air quality: Air filters are used in almost all duct systems, although not all contaminants are successfully captured and collected by the filters. This is why it’s so important to routinely clean your ducts. Cleaning will boost airflow and improve indoor air quality, which will reduce contaminants entering your home through ducting.
  • reduce pollution: Cleaning your ducts on a regular basis will quickly enhance indoor health and make the air you breathe cleaner and less polluted. Maintaining your air duct system will help you get rid of lots of pollutants and improve the air you breathe. Cleaning the HVAC ductwork is crucial, especially for those who react to dust fast with allergies.
  • maintain comfortable temperature: When your HVAC system is blocked up and has to fight with impurities, your air ducts can be harmed. The real effectiveness of the air cooling or heating devices is also impacted. Common debris that obstructs and reduces airflow can be successfully removed if you keep your air ducts clean.
  • reduce running costs: When air ducts are frequently cleaned and maintained, you will noticeably reduce your overall cooling and heating expenditures. Your heater and air conditioner will consume less electricity because of the enhanced ventilation. You won’t need to spend as much money when your HVAC system is operating properly and continually.

>> Read more: Commercial HVAC Maintenance

To wrap up, there are three main types of duct systems: flexible ductwork, rigid ductwork, and semi-rigid ductwork. Each HVAC ductwork type has its own pros and cons but no matter what type you use it’s always crucial to take care of your duct system while replacing the heating and cooling equipment in your residential or commercial structure. Because it is in charge of transporting air throughout the house or business, ductwork is crucial. The performance of the central unit is directly impacted by this function. You can make sure your HVAC system is operating properly as a whole if you take care of your ductwork at the same time as replacing the central unit.