Should You Choose Rigid Or Flexible Ductwork For Your New HVAC Installation?

If you want to get an air conditioning replaced or installed in a home that has previously been without, you'll be thinking about the type of AC system and materials involved. If you choose to get a new ducted system, you'll want to focus on the ducts themselves and figure out whether you will install rigid or flexible solutions. What is the difference, and what's best in your situation?

How Ducting Works

With a ducted air conditioning system, the air needs to be transported from the central processor through the home to each individual room. This is not like window-based units or a split system, which rely on units that are solely responsible for each particular zone.

So, with a ducted system, you need a means of transporting the air from the processor (typically located in a garage space). You will usually need to install the ducting in the attic space, allowing access to almost every room without too much effort.

Assessing The Options

There are essentially two ways to approach this. You can either install flexible ducts or their rigid counterpart.

Flexible Ductwork

The flexible ductwork is composed of a lengthy wire coil that is then covered with durable plastic material. The outer portion of the ducting is covered in fibreglass insulation, but this is an ideal solution if you have some particularly tricky areas to deal with. After all, the ductwork can be twisted to a degree, so you will be able to turn corners or deal with obstacles that may get in the way. Still, it's best to avoid as many direction changes as possible if you want to have an efficient system.

Rigid Ductwork

With rigid HVAC ductwork, the ducting is not flexible but is instead made up of a more solid material wrapped in insulation. It's a more reliable and long-lasting option, although it may also be more expensive. Some people think this approach is easier to deal with as the air does not make as much noise as it passes through all the rigid ductwork.

What's Right For You?

Much will depend on the shape and configuration of your attic space if you are running the ducts through here. You may also need to take into account the budget as there can be quite a difference between the two options.

It's best if you talk with an HVAC expert first, as they will have a look at your property before making their recommendation.