Central air conditioning systems are the last word in cooling power and efficiency, and it's no surprise that these sophisticated cooling systems are found in so many commercial and residential properties. However, any central air system is only as effective as the ducting system it uses to carry cool air to different rooms, and the materials your ducts are made from can have a surprisingly profound effect on how well your air conditioner performs.
In recent years, many air conditioning installers have started using ducts made from inexpensive and decidedly modern materials such as fibreglass, fibreboard and flexible plastic. However, the classic choice of sheet metal (usually either galvanised steel or aluminium) is still considered by many to be the best choice of ducting material. Here are just some fo the advantages of investing in sheet metal ductwork for your new central air conditioning system:
Minimal air resistance
One of the chief advantages of choosing sheet metal ductwork is provided by sheet metal's smooth surface, which creates minimal air resistance and does not appreciably slow the current of cool air passing through your ducting. Allowing air to pass through your ducting easily means that the motor of your air conditioner does not have to work so hard to provide sufficient cool air to distant rooms, which can dramatically increase the lifespan of your air conditioner's motor and reduce the likelihood of maintenance issues occurring.
Sheet metal ducting performs particularly well in this regard compared to flexible plastic and fibreboard ducting. These options have rough, ridged internal surfaces that can significant impinge airflow and cause your air conditioner's motor to work harder.
There is another advantage to the smooth, non-porous surface of sheet metal ductwork, as it prevents moisture from cool, humid conditioned air from being absorbed by the walls of your ducting. This in turn prevents the accumulation of mould, bacteria and other moisture-reliant pathogens in your ducting, preventing your air conditioning system from becoming contaminated with dangerous airborne diseases, such as Legionnaire's disease.
As you can imagine, sheet metal ducting can take a serious beating compared to other ducting materials. This helps to prolong the lifespan of your ducting before it degrades and needs to be replaced (aluminium ductwork is particularly long-lived, and often lasts longer than the building it is installed in), and is also very useful for preventing expensive accidental damage caused by renovations and interior remodelling.
Because sheet metal ducting is so durable and does not fall victim to mould, it is often in excellent condition when it is removed and replaced, and can easily be recycled. Aluminium ducting is particularly valued as a recyclable material, and can fetch surprisingly high prices when sold to scrap metal merchants.