Whatever the reason for needing to install duct boards for an air flow system, you can save yourself a whole bundle of money by using fiberglass duct boards over aluminum ones, or even molded plastic ones. Not only is fiberglass a cheaper material to work with, it will also provide far superior insulation for the ducting.
Fiberglass is an excellent sound and heat insulating material, making it ideal for use in an air ducting system on two levels. First of all it will keep the air warm, in the case of a hot air ducting system, or it will keep the air cool if the ducting is being used to direct air from an air conditioning unit.
Either way chances are there will inevitably be some noise generated by the equipment driving the air, such as an HVAC system, and the sound insulation properties of fiberglass are such that, unlike aluminum, it will dampen any sound/noise being transmitted along the ducting too.
DIY Ducting Installation
Apart from the insulating properties of fiberglass duct boards another advantage of fiberglass ducts is that, as a DIY/home enthusiast, you can fit them yourself. Whilst it wouldn’t be recommended to attempt the ultimate DIY job and make your own fiberglass duct boards to fit, there are minimum specifications in the manufacture of fiberglass duct boards that have to be adhered to, that doesn’t mean that you have to get someone else to fit them.
Having determined the total length and cross-section of duct board you require, chances are that the ducting will not form one single continuous run, but will need to turn through several angles to distribute the air flow as required.
Cutting fiberglass duct board is very easy, do wear at least a mouth mask and eye protection for this; however, to ensure permanent joints using ordinary duct-tape is not recommended. Instead you should ideally staple joints with outward flaring staples and then seal the joint with a heat sealable tape or a recommended caulk.
Good for the Environment
Apart from being a less expensive option to install than aluminum or plastic, being such excellent heat insulation, fiberglass duct boards will also mean you need to use less energy heating or cooling the air to send through the ducting – as there will be less heat loss through it. Whilst that’s great news for the pocket – it’s also great news for the environment.
Quite simply by requiring less energy to maintain a constant temperature in the air flow, if you get your power supply from a utilities company rather than your own ‘green’ supply – then the lower your carbon footprint will be, meaning you’re also helping to improve the environment.
Maintaining Fiberglass Duct Boards
Generally speaking, once installed fiberglass duct boards require no further maintenance. However, there are a couple of things to out look out for in the period immediately following the duct board installation.
First off, if you are suddenly aware of furniture being more dusty than usual in a room that the ducting is feeding air to or a musty smell in the room – you might have allowed dust to accumulate in it. If this is the case then you need to open up the ducting and have it thoroughly swept/vacuumed. This is particularly important if anyone in your household is susceptible to respiratory or allergy problems.
Secondly, if the air power unit energy bills seem unusually high or you get fluctuations in room temperatures, you might have an air leakage somewhere. This can be temporally repaired by applying a fiberglass patch; later on you can then insert a new section of fiberglass duct board.