Many homeowners in the Austin area who’ve never dealt with A/C issues or building a new home aren’t even aware of the fact that there are a few different types of ductwork.  This is important to know because while you don’t often see the ductwork, it’s one of the most important components of your cooling system considering it delivers conditioned (cooled or heated) air to the spaces inside your home.  What are the various types, and how can you choose the best for your needs?

First let’s cover why ductwork is vital and where it’s usually installed.  The design and installation of ductwork is critical and should be properly sized so that your HVAC system can deliver conditioned air to the interior of your home without staining blower motors.  What you want is cooled or heated air (depending on the season) that’s evenly distributed throughout the rooms of your home. 

Ductwork is installed in different areas depending on the space available.  Some may have it installed in the attic, while others may have it installed in the crawl space beneath their home.  There are benefits and disadvantages of each, however most homeowners have no choice if there is no crawl space available. 

What are the different types of ductwork? 

Basically there are three types commonly used in central Texas homes including rigid, flexible and insulated. 

Flexible ductwork is manufactured of plastic tubes encased in a wire frame and insulated with a plastic cover.  The advantage of flexible ductwork is that it can usually be installed in areas where rigid ductwork won’t work.  There are fewer joints to worry about in terms of air leaks, and this type of ductwork works well in areas where space is limited.

Rigid ductwork is a popular option because of the fact it resists damage by pests as well as collapse.  That said, this type of ductwork is made of thin sheet metal and requires careful sealing at all joints so that you don’t experience leaks which compromise comfort and increase utility costs.  When properly sealed by professionals, rigid ductwork is a good option.

Insulated ductwork can be either flexible or rigid.  Regardless of whether flexible or rigid ductwork is the best option for you in terms of space limitations, budget, or other factors, quality insulation using fiberglass, plastic cover or reflex is essential to maintaining the right temperature so your comfort and energy bills remain in check.  The goal is to keep the cooled or heated air flowing through your ductwork at the temperature it should be.

Regardless of the type of ductwork that’s best for you, proper installation by skilled and experienced Austin HVAC professionals is essential to avoid serious and costly problems.  At Schneider Mechanical our top priority is to help homeowners in central Texas enjoy a comfortable home all summer long, while keeping cooling costs to a minimum.  Give us a call today and see why so many homeowners trust us with their comfort needs!