SOLVED! - Duct Board Vs. Sheet Metal: Which One Is The Superior Choice?

The fact that the ductwork dictates the efficiency and effectiveness of HVAC systems means it’s essential to choose the right ductwork material during renovation. Usually, regarding the material for the ductwork of households, people nowadays have two choices: duct board and sheet metal. Both materials have their own pluses and minuses which allow one of them to outmatch the other in particular situations. Needless to say, the topic of duct board vs. sheet metal captures the interest of homeowners that desire solid ductwork.

A Rundown Of Ductwork Materials 

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You have a hard time choosing between duct board and sheet metal for the ductwork of your house? In that case, this article may be of use to you. Down below, you would find all the information that you must know about the ductwork materials including their pluses and minus.

Duct Board Vs Sheet Metal: Overviews 

  • Duct Board: In layman’s terms, duct board is an insulation material that features fiberglass in its construction. Owing to its outstanding ability to insulate, duct board sees extensive use in a wide range of applications: cooling, heating, etc. Needless to say, once it comes to the ductwork of HVAC systems, duct board is one of the leading options for modern ductwork. To facilitate usage, manufacturers distribute duct board in sheets so adapting it to particular arrangements is a walk in the park.
  • Sheet Metal: All in all, sheet metal is a term that people use to describe sheets of metal. For ductwork, galvanized steel is the metal of choice for many homeowners as it’s sturdy and stable. While sheet metal seems kind of expensive at a glance, it would last for years to come. Because of that, if you elect to use sheet metal for the ductwork of your house, you could save a couple of bucks in the long run.

Pros And Cons Of Ductwork Materials

Duct Board

Pros

  • Cost: The price of materials changes every now and then but duct board costs less than sheet metal. The price difference between materials would become even more significant if people hire professionals for the installation of ductwork. Naturally, cost-conscious homeowners tend to regard duct board as the one that comes out on top in duct board vs. sheet metal.
  • Handling: Duct board is easy to work with so there is no need to spend much time and effort into fabrication. Additionally, when duct board sustains damages, homeowners could replace damaged sections in a blink of an eye.
  • Noise: In use, ductworks that incorporate duct board rarely get too noisy. Unsurprisingly, most articles that cover ductwork materials rate duct board above its contemporaries regarding the level of noise.

Cons

  • Particles: As time passes by, particles usually accumulate in ductworks made from duct board which leads to issues like obstructions, blockages, … Hence, in terms of maintenance, homeowners from novices to veterans don’t hold duct board in high esteem.
  • Damage: Though duct board is not exactly delicate, it’s prone to damage from water, moisture and so on. That means if you choose duct board for your ductwork, you may need to set aside a budget for its repair.

Sheet Metal

Pros

  • Durability: Ductworks made from sheet metal prove tough enough to handle everything that people throw at them. Assuming that you build the ductwork of your house with sheet metal, years would pass before you have to perform repairs.
  • Efficiency: Generally speaking, the fantastic energy efficiency of sheet metal should help lower the power consumption of HVAC systems. Naturally, those who like to cut down utility bills deem sheet metal to be the winner in duct board vs. sheet metal.
  • Maintenance: Since sheet metal is resilient, it requires minimal attention from homeowners to stay in top shape. By using sheet metal for ductworks, people could spend more time on enjoying themselves and less time on ductwork maintenance.

Cons:

  • Affordability: If you go for sheet metal, the amount you must pay is going to be higher than the price of duct board. Thus, it’s strongly recommended that you give your wallet some thought as you deduce the material to use.
  • Installation: Even when you have the right tools and skills, the fabrication of sheet metal for ductworks remains tedious. Aside from that, if you mess up during the installation, you may face catastrophic consequences in the future.

Choosing Between Duct Board And Sheet Metal: Recommendations 

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Different people look for different things in their ductworks so homeowners lack a consensus on duct board vs. sheet metal. That being said, to make a wise decision, you should check out these hints.

  • Take the house into account: If your house is not too demanding once it comes to ductwork, feel free to use whatever material you like. However, if the ductwork requirements of your house seem complex, it’s suggested that you use duct board. As duct board is compatible with a multitude of conditions, it’s able to match the ductwork of various residences. Moreover, unlike sheet metal, duct board allows you to correct mistakes with relative ease and that is handy.
  • Think about the expense: Depending on the settings, the cost of ductwork installation could be steep. That is why you need to keep the expense of the project in mind while choosing the ductwork material. If you have money to spend, it’s a good idea to use sheet metal. On the other hand, if your wallet is a bit tight, duct board is adequate in most of the cases.
  • Consider the ductwork maintenance: Have no problem looking after the ductwork of your house on a regular basis? Then duct board is not a bad choice for the ductwork material. Otherwise, it’s widely advised that you stick to duct board to avoid maintenance headaches later on.

FAQs

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Is there a way to determine leaks in ductworks?

One tell-tale sign of leakage in the ductwork is the failure of HVAC systems to bring temperature to the level that people desire. Hence, if you find the interior temperature to be higher/lower than what you set, leaks in the ductwork could be at fault. To be certain, you should check up on the appliances of your HVAC system to see whether they work as expected. If nothing is out of the ordinary, you may conclude that your ductwork is having leaks which require immediate action.

To seal leaks in the ductwork, a number of options exist but cement mastic works wonders by all accounts. In any case, if sealed properly, your ductwork is going to resume operation with restored capabilities.

How often do I have to clean my ductwork?

Numerous factors influence the cleaning frequency for household ductwork but it’s best to clean your ductwork once every three years. It’s possible to clean the ductwork on your own but you need to think about hiring certified cleaners with professional tools and gears for optimal results.

What should I do if odd odors come out of the ductwork?

Quite a few things could cause ductworks to smell funny: animals, building materials, overheating appliances, mold and mildew, … Overall, if odd odors come out of your ductwork, you need to conduct a search to locate the source. A hose of problems would eventually show up if you fail to take measures in time.

 

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