Advantages & Disadvantages
The advantages of using fiberglass ducts include energy efficiency due to their material, manner of construction, and manner of installation. The are fabricated with a system of grooved cuts and folding that provide an air tight seal which means the conditioned air can be better controlled and delivered to the desired area without leakage. The material is fiberglass and it is an insulator meaning the conditioned air maintains its temperature better than standard uninsulated metal ducts. These facts combine so that, in many cases, it is possible and advisable to install smaller heating and cooling equipment.
** HOT TIP** Remember that it is only through a load calculation that the required size of equipment can be determined.
Another advantage is the fact that the systems are normally much quieter than metal or flexible duct systems. Many metal duct systems (even those that are properly installed) have vibration noise as well as popping sounds from the metal expanding and contracting with the change in temperature. This common complaint is eliminated with properly installed fiberglass duct board systems. The systems also typically have less flow noise when properly sized. The fact that the ducts are lighter and easier to hang than metal ducts is another advantage and they are easier to modify and assemble but that leads us to their biggest disadvantage. The tools to cut and fabricate the ducts are expensive. Another main disadvantage is the fact that the materials are more expensive than a uninsulated metal duct but they are comparable to insulated metal systems. Finally, these systems do not stand up to moisture and so they should not be installed in areas that are damp.