Types Of Ductwork For Central Air Conditioning

When opting to go for a central air conditioning unit, there are a few more things you need to consider about other than just installing the AC unit itself. One of them is the fact that such air conditioning systems require special ducts to channel the air the cooled air produced by the unit. These ducts can also be used to serve other purposes, like heating or removing stale air from the rooms in your home. 

There are two main types of ductwork that can be used with a central air conditioning system. One of them is known as flexible ductwork. Its name implies one of its properties, which is simply being able to flex and twist in many different positions, allowing an easy installation even in the tight or cramped spaces with no real room to move them. The advantages of flexible ducts are just limited to being the ideal choice for tight spaces. They are fairly easy to install for people other than professionals and are also a little cheaper than the other type of ducts available to you, the rigid ducts. Nevertheless, you need to ensure that the ducts are properly secured to avoid sagging, and not too much curved as this can severely restrict airflow and make duct cleaning much more of a chore.

Speaking of rigid ductwork, they can be easily classified into a few subcategories. Their common property is the fact that they cannot flex like flexible ductwork, and are instead rigidly and firmly attached in place.

  • Sheet Metal Ducts – These ducts are made of durable metallic materials, with galvanised forms of aluminium and steel being the predominant choices. When comparing them to the other types of rigid ductwork, they seem to be easier to install. They also discourage the growth of moulds, which is a main problem in other types of ductwork.
    • Fibreglass Lined Ducts – These aren’t entirely made of fibreglass, but are, in fact, just sheet metal ductwork with an additional fibreglass lining on top. These provide excellent sound deadening, making them ideal for the likes of office buildings. This advantage, though, comes at a cost. Old fibreglass can easily become detached (even when you clean or repair heating ducts), and these airborne particles can prove to be a major health hazard.
      • Fibreboard Ducts – These ducts are also made from fibreglass, but here the various strands are bonded and attached together with the use of a special resin. Due to having excellent insulating properties, this kind of ductwork is ideal when you need to install both heating and cooling systems together. Their construction does restrict some of their cooling ability though, mainly due to the roughened nature of the external surface. There is also the issue with mould growth in damp conditions.