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Common Types of Air Ducts in American Homes

There Are Different Types of Air Duct Designs 

Many homes, both old and new, come with air ducts. Yet, chances are, homeowners will never see them. Air ducts are metal passageways that pump air into different parts of the home. It’s an integral part of one’s HVAC system. 

Air ducts generally need very little maintenance. However, to get the most out of their HVAC system, there are some basic things homeowners need to know, including what types of air ducts they have. Knowing this information allows homeowners to avoid problems and reduce energy costs. 

Homeowners Should Consider These Things When Considering New Ductwork 

A home’s ductwork lasts about 20-25 years with proper maintenance. However, like all good things, nothing lasts forever. There may come a time when it’s wise to consider getting new ductwork instead of pouring hundreds of dollars into a failing system. 

When determining what type of ductwork they should get, homeowners should consider: 

  • Their house’s layout. It’s important to know a home’s dimensions before getting new ductwork. Otherwise, not all parts of the house could get air conditioning. 
  • The amount of BTUs needed. BTUs (or British thermal units) measure heat. A good ratio is 20 BTUs per square foot. So, a 1,400-square-foot home would need at least 28,000 BTUs to stay warm. 

One should also consider their home’s location when purchasing new ductwork. 

Different Homes Require Different Air Ducts 

ductsAir ducts are not a one-home-fits-all deal. Depending on a property’s age and location, different homes require different air ducts. Some common air duct types include: 

  • Sheet metal air ducts. These air ducts are the most commonly seen in homes. They’re made of galvanized steel. Because of its smooth surface, mold and bacteria rarely form on these surfaces. 
  • Fiberglass-lined air ducts. Some sheet metal air ducts are lined with fiberglass. This keeps cold air inside the home and even limits how much noise the AC system makes. 
  • Fiberboard air ducts. Fiberboard air ducts reduce how much fiberglass builds up in the system. These are some of the cheapest air ducts to install. 
  • Flexible air ducts. Flexible air ducts use plastic and metal to ensure the HVAC system’s operations. Out of the air ducts on this list, flexible air ducts are lightweight, inexpensive, and, with maintenance, can last over a decade. 

Some newly-constructed homes do not come with ductwork. Instead, they rely on streamlined HVAC systems to keep a home hot or cold during certain times of the year. An HVAC professional can evaluate a home’s needs to determine 1) whether it has ductwork and 2) what measures could keep the system working properly. 

What’s the Best Type of Air Ducts? 

ductsAs noted, sheet metal air ducts are the most common type of air duct. They are perfect for homes of all shapes and sizes. Some benefits of sheet metal air ducts include: 

  • These materials last a long time. 
  • Mold, mildew, and bacteria can’t grow on the surface. 
  • Because of the air duct design, the home stays cooler longer. 

One should consult an HVAC professional for more information about what ductwork system best suits their home. 

About Elite Comfort Systems 

Elite Comfort Systems is a family-owned and operated company serving the community of Brentwood, CA, and the surrounding areas since 2008. They provide upfront pricing, honest advice, and 24/7 emergency response. Call them today for heating and air conditioning services in Brentwood, CA.