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In the HVAC world, there’s a bit of debate on the merits of rigid versus flex ductwork. Each kind of ductwork has its advantages and disadvantages. Property owners who need to install new ducts, repair old ducts or upgrade existing ducts in their homes should be familiar with the merits of both, so they can make an educated choice.

The Differences: Rigid Versus Flex

Rigid ductwork is usually made from shaped sheet metal or rigid ductboard with foil facing. It is durable and long lasting. Homes built in the 1950s and 1960s had rigid ducts installed, with many of these systems still in service. They provide less air resistance than flex ducts and do not collapse easily under pressure.

The downside is that the rigid ducts have to be designed and laid out. That requires a bit more work and planning upfront. Labor costs may be higher as a result.

Flex ducts are made from flexible tubes of plastic wrapped by a wire frame wrapped in insulation, with a plastic exterior cover. They cost less than rigid ducts because of their easy installation. With their flexibility, flex ducts can go into places where it would be extremely difficult or impossible to install rigid ducts.

The downside is that generally speaking, flex ducts do not last as long as rigid ducts. In addition, a poor installation job can create an inefficient system that will drive up energy costs.

The Solution

Some experts come down firmly on the side of rigid ducts while others embrace flex ductwork. The best solution is to bring in a professional HVAC contractor who knows how to handle both and can design your duct system to be efficient yet cost-effective. If you want to learn more about the differences between rigid and flex ductwork, please contact us at NisAir Air Conditioning and Heating. We have proudly served Martin, Palm Beach and Indian River counties since 1973.

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