Go Beyond the Basics: An Overview of Different Types of Ductwork

Types of Ductwork

Ductwork refers to the system of channels used to distribute air throughout a building for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) purposes. There are several types of ductwork commonly used in residential and commercial buildings. Here are some of the most common types:

1. Sheet Metal Ducts

Sheet metal ducts are the most traditional and widely used type of ductwork. They are typically made of galvanized steel, aluminum, or stainless steel sheets formed into rectangular or round shapes. Sheet metal ducts are known for their durability, strength, and fire resistance.

2. Fiberglass Ducts

Fiberglass ducts are constructed using fiberglass insulation material wrapped in a protective layer of foil. These ducts are lightweight and easy to install, making them suitable for both residential and commercial applications. Fiberglass ducts are known for their thermal insulation properties and are often used for thermal efficiency.

3. Flexible Ducts

Flexible ducts, also known as flex ducts, are made of a flexible plastic material encased in a spiral wire frame. They are highly flexible and can be easily bent and routed around obstacles. Flexible ducts are commonly used in HVAC systems where tight spaces or complex routing is required.

4. Duct Board

Duct board is a type of ductwork made from rigid insulation material, typically fiberglass or mineral wool, covered with a foil facing. It offers good thermal insulation properties and is relatively easy to work with. Duct board is often used for creating plenums, duct transitions, and other custom-shaped duct components.

5. Round Metal Ducts

Round metal ducts are circular ducts made of sheet metal. They are commonly used in HVAC systems where airflow needs to be evenly distributed. Round metal ducts are known for their efficiency in reducing air resistance and pressure drop, making them suitable for high-velocity airflows.

6. Fabric Ducts

Fabric ducts are made of permeable fabric material with air distribution holes. They are typically used in commercial and industrial settings, such as warehouses and large open spaces. Fabric ducts offer flexibility in terms of air distribution patterns and can be customized for specific airflow requirements.

It’s important to consider factors such as HVAC system design, building layout, airflow requirements, and energy efficiency when selecting the appropriate type of ductwork for a particular application. Consulting with a professional HVAC contractor or engineer can help determine the most suitable ductwork type for your specific needs.