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Pros and Cons of Different Air Duct Designs

Air ducts are an important part of every air conditioning system found in homes or businesses, but most people have never even seen the air ducts where they live or work. Air ducts are installed in crawl spaces and attics and are seldom interacted with by their owners. As a result, homeowners and business owners are usually surprised when they learn about air ducts and the different styles available. 

This quick article is intended to inform people about their options for air ducts. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to air distribution, and customers should educate themselves to choose the best air duct design for their AC system when they schedule a new AC installation. 

ductsWhy Are There Different Types of AC Ducts?

Different air ducts exist so that HVAC installers can make a personalized system for each home or business. Most structures are custom-built so no single air duct material will be the correct choice for a project. Instead, the various materials available for air duct material each serve to make air conditioning systems more efficient and safe. 

The main purpose of air ducts is to convey conditioned air without losing efficiency. As air passes over the evaporator coil, it wants to absorb heat from its surroundings. Good insulation on ductwork prevents a loss of BTUs (British Thermal Units) from the cooled air and keeps the structure more comfortable and efficient. 

Common Air Duct Materials and Styles

There are several common choices when it comes to selecting ductwork materials. The most common are:

  • Sheet Metal: Sheet metal is the best choice in most home settings and non-commercial buildings. Sheet metal ducts are more expensive than other options, but they last indefinitely and can be built to accommodate nearly every situation. After ducts are assembled they are wrapped in insulation to prevent loss of efficiency. 
  • Fiberglass Lined Air Ducts: These ducts are more common in commercial settings with large commercial AC units. The ducts are made of sheet metal insulated inside with fiberglass batts. 
  • Flexible Ducts: Flexible ducts are the cheapest option, but they interfere with airflow, causing a loss of efficiency. In limited cases, they are the right choice to navigate tight spots for branch lines, but one shouldn’t use them for an entire home. 
  • Fiberboard Air Ducts: Fiberboard ducts and trunks are custom-made to provide a connection to smaller branch lines. They are very efficient and a good choice to be included at some point in most AC systems. 

Choosing the Best Option ducts

The best options for air ducts should include properties like:
  • Non-porous to prevent bacterial growth
  • Sealed fiberglass to avoid air quality issues
  • Ability to be cleaned periodically
  • Low internal resistance to airflow to support efficiency

While an AC installation contractor will discuss options before installing a system, they will design the ductwork, so the system is safe and effective. Discuss concerns with them so they can choose the best ductwork to fit individual needs. 

About Daniels Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, LLC

Daniels Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning, LLC is the local choice for excellence in air duct installation. They can design AC systems to fit any home or business’s budget with quality workmanship and a satisfaction guarantee. Call today for AC service in Santa Fe, NM.