Ducts Shapes

When it comes to air ducts, there are three common shapes that buildings use nowadays, including round ducts, which are the most common shape because they also transport air the most efficiently. Square or rectangular ductwork is also popular and can be easier to install; however, they require more metal for construction than round ductwork. Oval ducts are another popular air duct style and they’re often flat and have smaller height requirements than the alternatives. When under pressure, oval ducts tend to become rounder.

What Are the Types of Duct System? - Next Modern Home

What are the different types of ducts?

Flexible Ductwork

These are typically tube-shaped and made of a wire coil covered with a bendable, durable plastic, and surrounded by insulation. Flexible ducting is best in complicated and tricky spaces where it is impossible to install or use rigid to attach non-flexible ductwork to an air supply outlet.

The advantages of using this type include quick and easy installation, and often cost less than the rigid ductwork.

Rigid Duct-work

Rigid duct systems come in a variety of materials and sizes and can be either rectangular or cylindrical. Often, these  are insulated. They are popularly in use because they are hardy, enduring, and reliable.

For rigid duct systems, there are three common types:

  • Sheet metal ducts – If you like watching action movies, you most probably have seen sheet metal ducts. They are the ducts you see in films that usually have the main hero crawling through the air ductwork. The most common materials for sheet metal ducts are galvanize-steel and aluminum.
  • Fiberglass lined ducts – Fiberglass lined ducts are also sheet metal ducts, but they differ in one thing: they have internal fiberglass lining. This duct system is more common in office and commercial buildings, as it helps dampen the air conditioner unit’s sound.
  • Fiberboard ducts – Fiberboard composed of fiberglass strands compressed and bonded with resin and covered with a foil laminate sheet for moisture protection. Fiberboard are suitable for cooling and heating systems because they are well insulated.

Semi-Rigid Ducts

Viewed as the best type of ventilation ducting available, semi-rigid ducting offers installers and gives some benefits. An excellent quality semi-rigid ducting helps a ventilation system operate at its optimal performance because it is a zero leakage ventilation system. On the other hand, high-quality semi-rigid duct systems also have high crushability levels.

Additionally, some semi-rigid ducting systems offer the installer versatility by switching between round and oval ducting without losing any hydraulic pressure loss or system performance. It is also easier to maintain because many semi-rigid duct systems have anti-bacterial and anti-static linings.

What is best for your ductwork?

Rigid ductworks are pricier because they are more permanent fixtures. They cost more to make, move, and install.

Rigid air ductwork are costly up front but save money in the long run. Flexible ductwork are best for fixing trunk-and-branch AC systems which are already existing. Metals ductwork are more rigid, thus only useful in creating entire HVAC systems.

Flexible ductwork is also more prone to errors during construction, which costs a lot in maintenance and replacements.

Your final decision on the best material and type of ductwork work depends on several factors. These include things like location, budget, square footage, and occupants of the building, among others.


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