Duct Board Pros And Cons: Make Your Decision Wisely!

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Choosing the right ductwork for your house is very crucial. Much like deciding the best preschool for your kid! Therefore to find the best, careful research is a must.

What are actually the duct board pros and cons?

First, we have a section of what they are made of? Then we have the pros. Which includes, their durability and self-insulation. Moreover, they are a quieter alternative. Duct Board is cheaper and easier to install. Lastly, we have the cons. This includes problems of erosion, mold, and mildew. Also, they’re prone to infestation.

This was just the tip of the iceberg. To know more in detail, tune in to our enlightening segment!

What Are Duct Boards Made of?

Basically, duct boards are a common form of insulation. They are made of large sheets of firm fiberglass.  They’re commonly used for commercial and residential purposes.

Every board consists of two layers. This helps with sufficient airflow and protection from external factors. The fiberglass serves as an insulation barrier. Whilst, the metallic foil serves as a vapor barrier.

Some of the most common features of the duct board are as follows:

  • Dimensions 4’ x 8’,  4’ x 10’, and 8’ x 10’
  • Thicknesses 1”, 1.5” and 2”
  • R-Values of R4, R6, and R8
  • Foil facing
  • Black, fiberglass mat facing
  • Antimicrobial coating

Now that we have a decent idea about our duct board, let’s get into their pros and cons.

A Little Sneak Peek Before We Dive In 

Pros

Cons

Quieter alternative

Erosion can occur on the airstream

Construction is less strenuous

Can cause mold and mildew

They have more durability

They are more prone to damage 

They can self insulate

They are cheaper

Pros Of Using Duct Board

The duct boards are known for their stellar qualities. Most of which are listed below, so keep on scrolling!

Comparatively Quieter

Duct boards make less noise when under pressure. They have amazing noise-reducing qualities when compared to metal ducts. This is because they lack the metal to metal contact. Therefore, they let the sound waves flow freely through the system.

Compared to an HVAC system, the fiberglass layers muffle the sound. They also don’t contract and expand like the sheet metal ducts. Thus, altogether, it’s a better alternative sound-wise.

Construction is Less Hectic 

Several boards can be fabricated with very little hardware. All you’ll need are- a measuring tape, cutting knife, duct tape, and a staple gun.

They can be cut and bent into square or rectangular shapes as preferred.  You can use a special knife for this. And thus requires no expensive machinery.

The duct board too can be sectioned and portioned. Thus making it easy to transport and carry.

The construction is also very lightweight and less labor-intensive. The installation is comparatively faster than the metal ones. The material is easy to airtight and seal. Thus making it less hectic, unlike that of vinyl over aluminum siding!

More Durable

Duct boards are known especially for their durability. They have a longevity of 10 to 15 years. After this, they have to be replaced. Otherwise, they’ll start to deteriorate and your insulation won’t be the same!

With proper maintenance and cleaning, their lifespan can be expanded. It can be expanded to a maximum of 20 years! However, it’s better to check it every 15 years.

Self Insulated Material

Another reason why people prefer this system is because of the self-protecting system. 

The fiberglass in the board helps maintain a constant temperature. While the metallic foil prevents moisture from being trapped within the fibers.

This system locks excess moisture in when needed. And produces a constant internal airstream to maintain temperature. Thus keeps the duct board and your house at prompt temperature.

We can then say that the building is pretty self-insulative!

Comparatively Cheaper Than Alternatives

Duct boards are cheaper than sheet metal and other ductworks. If you’re looking for effective ductwork, duct board is the way to go. 

They are less costly but hold up like the metal ones. Sometimes, even better! 

Duct board can be bought with an untreated or treated surface to resist erosion. The treated duct board can be harder to fabricate than the untreated type. They might even cost a bit more to install. 

This will help give you a clear idea of what you might be looking for. So, should you look at a duct board or an alternative

Cons Of Using Duct Board 

We can’t just focus on the good qualities of the duct board. Obviously, it does have some downfalls as ducting material. So what exactly are the cons of using a duct board?

Erosion Of Airstream

The rigid insulation of the duct board might cause the fibrous material to erode. Because of the compact space, the airstream might be eroded. Thus causing the airflow to be contaminated. 

This will increase the dust level in the airflow. Therefore, it’ll contaminate your house too! These can cause many health issues such as anthrax etc.

Growth of Mold And Mildew

The first thing to remember about ducts is that they don’t go along with water. 

The wet board can create mildew and cause mold growth. Molds thrive on damp areas and thus the duct board can’t be moist.

Placing it in damp places can cause harm to the fiberglass. Thus, it can cost you an expensive repair.

Vulnerable to Infestations

Besides mold, the ducts are damaged by mice and pests. As they are more susceptible to tear and cuts. These can cause the ducts to need major replacing.

This can grow to be a significant problem. As costs are going to keep adding up!

What’s The Ultimate Decision?

Every house is different, so is every homeowner. It ultimately depends on your choice of ductwork. And if duct boards are the one, then proceed with it. Here from this segment, we can clearly see that the pros override the cons.

Duct boards are a very good form of insulation for your house. Much like choosing the perfect stair riser wood, you need to decide on what’s best for you!

Here are some of the most recommended ductworks by contractors: 

Products 1

Products 2

Products 3

That's all from us!

We hope the pros and cons better helped you understand duct boards. This clearly indicates it is a great option!

FAQs

Question: How long does the duct board last?
Answer: A duct board has a lifespan of 10-15 years. After that, it starts to fall apart, reducing the HVAC system’s efficiency. Thus it’s best to replace it in due time.

Question: Can the duct board be cleaned?
Answer: Yep. Use a steady brushing technique on the duct surface. Then use a vacuum to clean any dust or any particles. For fiberglass or sheet metal duct board, use only a soft-bristled brush. 

Question: Is round or square duct better?
Answer: Round ducts are comparatively more efficient than rectangular ones. The round one has a smaller cross-sectional area and less duct wall on the outside. Thus also minimizes cost!

End Note

And on that note, we’d be parting ways. We hope this segment on duct board pros and cons was enlightening. 

What did you choose? What new things did you learn? Hope you were able to make your decision.

Until then, goodbye!

Richard Allen