Proper ventilation is key in a number of applications – not just HVAC. You need to make sure your dryer is able to release air in order for it to work efficiently and prevent breakdowns. A flexible duct hose can also be very handy when you need to air out your attic or basement. If you have a sophisticated greenhouse, you need to make sure it’s properly ventilated for the health of your plants and flowers.
Flexible air ducts afford you the ability to provide proper ventilation in tight spots. They can also connect appliances and ventilation points that are far away from each other. Still, you need to make sure that you choose a quality flexible duct connector to ensure efficiency and avoid accidents around the house. In the following article you will read about some of the best flexible air ducts on the market as well as some helpful purchasing information.
Best Flexible Air Ducts Comparison
Best for durability
First of all, this ducting is 4 inches in diameter which is suitable for a number of appliance and HVAC purposes. The thoughtful design of this aluminum flexible duct is what makes it great though. It features a 4 layer design that includes spiral steel ribs, aluminum foil, thermoplastic and a smooth outer layer.
The layers combined serve to make this exceptionally flame-retardant ducting, give it a sturdy frame for durability and improve it’s ventilation efficiency. You get 25 feet to work with but of course, it can be cut down to size as well. Duct clamps are included with your purchase and they can be secured with a simple Phillips head screwdriver.
- Rip and tear-resistant
- Great for grow houses, HVAC systems, dryers, attics and bathrooms
- Nondescript black outer finish
Best for airflow
This flexible insulated duct features a thick aluminum foil outer layer for added durability. It’s also fireproof and waterproof so it can be used for all kinds of HVAC systems. This is also great duct work to use with large fan and filter systems because it’s insulated to reduce noise. You can choose from a wide variety of sizes from 3” openings to 8” inch openings.
So no matter how large your ducts or vents are, you will likely find the size you need with this product. It’s very flexible too. For example, the 16 foot version can expand to about twice that length. Lastly, the triple layer design helps prevent moisture leaks.
- Very affordable flexible ducting
- Great for light fixture cooling in greenhouses
- Also useful for eliminating odors in bathrooms
Best for budget
This last product on the list is made from a combination of PVC, aluminum foil and polyethylene terephthalate. This combination makes it exceptionally temperature resistant. In fact, it can be used in temperatures as low as -22 Fahrenheit and as high as 266 degrees Fahrenheit. The openings measure 4 inches in diameter and one length of this HVAC flexible air duct can stretch out to about 12 feet.
Your purchase comes with everything you will need for installation too, including 2 duct clamps that fit over the 4 inch ends. You can even fit this air duct over rectangular or oval shaped openings. The inner layer also has hard steel spring wires so it keeps it’s shape. This is handy in tight spaces where something can pinch the duct and cause a clog.
- Insulates sound very well
- Great for heat removal
- Features a very durable design
The Benefits of Flexible Air Ducts
Perhaps the best benefit of flexible air ducts is that they are easy to install. Most of the ones you can buy at a hardware store or online come with their own clamps that can be sealed with a screwdriver.
Apart from ease of installation though, they’re flexible. They can be made to span multiple stories in your home or place of business. They can also be used to ventilate non-parallel and non-adjacent rooms.
If you are worried about mold or mildew growth in your attic or basement, you can easily connect a ventilation system with flexible ducting as well. Flexible ductwork has a wide variety of uses – it’s flexible in both name and practicality.
What to Look for in Flexible Air Ducts
The flexible air ducts you choose should reflect what you need them for. In general though, here are some things to look out for when you are selecting a product:
- Steel Spiral Ribs – This is an important feature for many flexible air duct applications. A sturdy frame of flexible steel will help prevent pinching and clogging. Pinched air ducts can greatly restrict airflow and make appliances like fans, blowers and dryers work twice as hard.
- The Right Fit – The most important piece of information you need to have before you start shopping is the size of your exhaust ports. Carefully measure the opening width of any exhaust ports you need to connect with an air duct. Then make sure that any duct you buy has opening ends that match the width of your exhaust ports.
- PVC Layers – When possible, choose an air duct that has a layer of PVC. PVC provides durability and temperature-resistance. These are features that you want – especially if you plan to use your air ducts for your dryer or other appliances that blow hot/cold air.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is flexible ductwork good?
Flexible air ducts offer a more convenient alternative to metal ductwork. Flexible air ducts can be used in a wider array of situations where ventilation is needed but the area is hard to reach. Flexible air ducts are also much more affordable to replace and much easier to install. In most cases, you can install this type of duct work yourself in a short amount of time.
Does flex duct reduce air flow?
This is one of the few faults of flexible ductwork but it can be negated with careful installation. Flexible duct work can become pinched in tight spots or by rodent and pest obstruction. If this happens, air flow can be restricted by a significant amount. This is not a problem with metal ductwork since it’s rigid. Still, if you buy a product with sturdy steel ribs and install it in such a way that minimizes the chances of pinching, you shouldn’t have a problem.
How much does flex duct cost?
This is another one of the advantages of flexible ductwork. Flexible air ducts are very affordable. In general, you can expect to pay between $1.30 and $2.50 per foot for flexible ductwork.
If you need better ventilation, appliance exhaust routing or odor management in the kitchen or bathroom, flexible air ducts are a great choice. They are easy to install, affordable and when installed correctly, can last for a very long time.
Plus, they can be used in a wide variety of ways around the house or at your place of business. Hopefully, you have a clearer idea of what flexible air ducts can do for you and what to keep an eye out for when choosing a product. The products on the above list will work great in many situations so check them out first!