If you're having a new central air conditioning or forced-air heating system installed in your home, then one of the most important (and expensive) steps is the installation of new ductwork. Ductwork is required to carry cool or warm air from your blower to the various rooms of the house. Although it is often overlooked, it is the portion of your install that can have the greatest impact on your system's overall efficiency as well as the greatest potential for large repair costs if it is handled incorrectly.
In the past, rigid ducting was often used in both residential and commercial installs, but flexible ducting has become the de facto choice for many home installers in recent years. Read on to learn why flexible ductwork is so commonly recommended.
Flexible vs. Rigid: What's the Difference?
Rigid ducts are usually constructed out of a solid, hard material such as steel or fiberglass. These ducts are purchased in sections which are joined together and which cannot be bent or otherwise adjusted. Rigid ducts offer many advantages, including durability and ease of cleaning. Despite this, they have fallen out of favor with many home installers for two important reasons: cost and difficulty of installation. In addition to being more expensive, their inflexibility means that there are fewer options for placement and more care must be taken during planning.
Flexible ducting solves these issues. Most flex ductwork is constructed from a metal coil that acts as a structural skeleton for an insulating material. Unlike rigid ductwork, flexible ductwork is cut to fit for the application. As the name implies, this type of ductwork can be routed through difficult areas and around bends as needed. This makes it much easier to install than rigid ductwork in addition to being cheaper to purchase.
Are There Downsides?
Of course, most homeowners don't want to hear that the primary reason for choosing a material is cost. Luckily, flexible ductwork offers a cheaper, easier to install alternative with minimal disadvantages. While flex ducting is more vulnerable to punctures and other damage during installation, skilled installers know to take special care when running ductwork through your house. Flex ducting is also vulnerable to reducing overall system efficiency if it has too many bends or kinks, but this problem can be easily avoided through careful planning.
Discussing Your Options with Your Installer
Although flexible ductwork is almost always used in modern home installs, it can still be worthwhile to discuss options with your installer if you would prefer rigid ductwork for your home. This is possible in some cases, although it isn't unusual for it to be prohibitively expensive or even impossible to retrofit rigid ductwork into the tight spaces found in some homes. Regardless of which option you choose, an experienced installer will make sure that your ductwork is installed properly so that your new AC system can function reliably and efficiently.
For more information, contact an air conditioning service in your area.
My name is Maura, and I am certified in HVAC installation and repair. I have many clients who call me in a panic because they have turned on their air conditioners and nothing has happened. Your air conditioning technician will get to you as soon as possible, but there are some steps you can take while you are waiting. You might just find that you are able to fix the problem on your own, although you will still want to have a professional assess the situation. In this blog I will take you through some common reasons your air conditioner might not be working and show you some easy temporary solutions.