Flex Ducts or Rigid Metal: What’s Best for Your Replacement or New Home?

Flex Ducts or Rigid Metal: What’s Best for Your Replacement or New Home?

The performance of the ducts in your Monmouth County home can easily affect the overall efficiency of your heating and cooling systems. During an upgrade or installation, the type of material, flex ducts or rigid metal, does not matter as much as the quality of the installation, because both materials have advantages and disadvantages.

Installation Requirements

Rigid metal ducts are inherently harder to install as they require extensive planning to route them efficiently, special tools and training to fabricate them and a longer installation time. Flexible ducts are quick and easy to install, require few tools and they are more-easily installed into tight places and routed around obstacles. On the other hand, they are easier to damage compared to metal ducts.

Air Flow Efficiency

When installed correctly, rigid ducts have smooth interiors, gently turning corners, and, due to their rigidity, less physical obstructions, creating superior air flow over flexible solutions. The soft nature of flexible ductwork allows sagging, crushing and pinching of the duct. This is especially prevalent at corners, if a gentle radius is not used. These factors combined with the rough texture of the inside surface can create turbulence, reducing air flow. A quality installation can avoid such issues, however, by ensuring the ducts are stretched tight and gentle curves or rigid structures are used for direction changes.

Duct Sealing and Insulation

Metal ducts must have their joints sealed and must be insulated during installation, while flexible ducts typically have fewer joints to seal and built-in insulation. Continuing maintenance is required for either flex ducts or rigid metal to maintain their seals and physical integrity.

Sound Transmission

Metal ducts can transmit noise from the furnace or any other vibrations into the room. Flexible ductwork absorbs vibrations and eliminates excess noise. To reduce noise in a rigid system, flexible ducts can be used for the final connection to a room.

To ensure that your installation is done correctly, whether it uses flex ducts or rigid metal, use experienced professionals, such as our HVAC technicians at Aggressive Mechanical Contractors, Inc. We serve Monmouth County and the surrounding areas.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about ducts and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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