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Technician assembling HVAC ductwork

Did you know that the human body’s circulatory system and your HVAC have a lot in common? If your air conditioner unit and the furnace were the heart of your HVAC, the ducts would be the arteries that run to and from it!

As machinery works to pump air to and from the rooms of your home, it pushes it through passages called air ducts. These air ducts supply cooled or heated air throughout the rooms.

HVAC ductwork is insulated tubing that can be square or circular. They run throughout a building, nestled behind ceilings, walls, and floors. 

Although they are hidden away from sight in most residential properties, you might spot a few exposed in your attic space. When they reach a room, they are fitted with either a vent, grille, or register that only allows air to pass through.

Types of Air Ducts

Fiberboard Air Ducts

These are the least desirable material for air ducts. They are made of fiberglass bonded by resin and wrapped in foil. 

These ducts are so cheaply made that they are dangerous to clean. If traditional cleaning methods are used to rid them of dust, the materials could become damaged and disperse fiberglass into the air.

Once they are damaged, it’s important to have fiberboard air ducts replaced right away for safety’s sake.

Flex Ducts

This duct’s name hints at its superpower. Flex ductwork may not be the strongest, but it is the most flexible air duct. These ducts are insulated plastic wrapped around a steel wire that spirals to form the rounded tube.

It’s cheap, light, and fits in tight spaces, making it a very common duct, especially in homes that weren’t originally built with central air heating and cooling. 

The problem with these ducts is they can be damaged easily, especially by pests like mice or raccoons. Once your duct’s integrity is compromised, your entire HVAC system is.

Sheet Metal Ducts

Sheet metal ducts are made from either aluminum or galvanized steel. The latter is extremely durable and rust-resistant. 

They come in a variety of sizes and shapes including square, oval, and round. Sheet metal ducts are the best type of duct out there, not only because it is stronger but also because you’re less likely to find mold growing in them. 

Return vs Supply Ducts

No matter what material your ducts are made from, all ventilation systems distinguish between two different air ducts based on the direction of airflow. These are:

  • Return air ducts
  • Supply air ducts

Return ducts allow air inside of the living space to flow to the furnace or evaporator coils of an AC unit via the blower fan. Once the air is heated or cooled by your HVAC system, it is pushed back into the living space through the supply air ducts. 

This completes a full cycle of air circulation through your heating and cooling system.

Why is HVAC Ductwork Important

Properly installed and sized ductwork is essential for an efficient heating and cooling system. They need to be well insulated and checked for leaks too.

When the air circulation in your home is at an optimum level, you’ll achieve improved indoor air quality. This is because the air in your home is able to move through the HVAC system freely and pass through the filter multiple times a day. 

Not only will you breathe easier, but you’ll dust less! With cleaner air, you’ll experience less dust buildup on your household surfaces as long as you change your filter every 90 days. If you have pets, you may need to change them more often. 

This not only benefits your health but the life of your HVAC too. When your cooling and heating system is well balanced, it works less to achieve the same results or better. That means your electricity bill will be lower, your home will be more comfortable, and your system will last longer. 

Do You Need Ductwork in Tampa, Florida?

If you think your air ducts may have leaks or they were installed improperly, we can help! 

Call us and speak with one of our friendly and informative representatives. We will be more than happy to answer your questions and send a highly trained and certified technician to your door.