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If you’re planning a construction or renovation project, the ducts you choose will have a big impact on your home or business’s comfort level in the future. Knowing the differences between rigid and flexible ductwork will help you design the best heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system for your home or commercial space.

Flexible HVAC ducts

Flexible ductwork is made from a material that can twist, bend and shape itself into hard-to-reach areas. It can be made from:

  • Silicone

  • PVC

  • Rubber

  • Polyurethane

  • Neoprene-dipped polyester fabric

  • Pros of flexible ducts

Flexible ducts are made of lightweight materials and quick and easy to install. This means they’re a cheaper alternative to rigid ductwork and there’s less downtime during installation. The other advantage to flexible ducts is they can be formed to fit in areas where it’s impossible to install rigid ducts.

Cons of flexible ducts

Installation may be easy, but there’s more room for mistakes. Flexible ducts need to be well-supported through their entire length. If not, they’ll sag and interrupt or block airflow. Flexible ducts are more inefficient. They have rough interiors and sharp turns and sags that reduce airflow. They’re also more prone to broken seals and connections. This leads to higher energy bills and pricey repairs. In addition, mould and mildew are more common in flexible ducts due to them having multiple corners and uneven surfaces. They’re also more difficult to clean.

Rigid HVAC ducts

Rigid ducts are made from galvanized steel or aluminum. They can be either rectangular or cylindrical in shape.

Pros of rigid ducts

Rigid ducts are more durable than flexible ducts and can withstand extreme temperatures. They don’t require much maintenance and last a long time. Rigid ducts are more efficient than flexible ducts. Their smooth surfaces and straight design won’t interfere with airflow. This means your HVAC systems won’t need to work as hard. Rigid ducts will save you money in the long run. Moreover, mould, mildew, dust and other pollutants are less likely to grow or get trapped inside a metal duct because of its smooth surfaces. Rigid ducts are easier to clean.

Cons of rigid ducts

Rigid ducts are more expensive than flexible ducts and are also more difficult to install. They’re heavy and require more manpower to lift, place and install. Also, the metal needs to be precisely measured and cut to fit the building’s dimensions, which adds to the installation time. The metals used for rigid ducts typically costs more than the materials used for flexible ducts.

Ductwork experts in Calgary

When it comes to HVAC systems, Harmony Heating & Air Conditioning delivers quality installation, maintenance and repairs at affordable rates. Whether it’s your heating, ventilation, air conditioning or plumbing that needs attention, our dedicated technicians are available. We service residential and commercial properties in Calgary and the surrounding communities. Contact us today to get a no-obligation, free quote.


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