Proper ventilation is key in a number of applications – not just HVAC. For instance, a flexible duct hose can 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. When it comes to venting your dryer, its important to keep your vent free and clean of lint and other debris.
Flexible air ducts give 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. When it comes to ventilation, you need to make sure that you choose a high-quality flexible vent and duct connector to ensure efficient and safe use.
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
At 4 inches in diameter, this ducting is suitable for a number of appliances and HVAC purposes. The thoughtful design of this aluminum flexible-ducting is what makes it great, as it is constructed using 4 distinct layers; spiral steel ribs, aluminum foil, thermoplastic, and a smooth outer layer.
The steel-wire spiral makes it very flexible in hard-to-reach places. With the multi-layer construction, it is great at maximizing airflow and diminishing any CFM loss.
The combined layers serve to make this an exceptionally flame-retardant ducting. It has a sturdy frame for durability which also improves its ventilation efficiency. This comes in a 25-foot length and can be cut down to size, as needed. Duct clamps are included with your purchase and they can be secured using a simple Phillips screwdriver.
It’s worth noting that this flexible air duct might be difficult to attach to a standard dryer exhaust vent. Be sure to measure the exhaust vent size before buying. The air duct will not fit on all vent sizes that are over 4 inches.
- Rip and tear-resistant
- Great for grow houses, HVAC systems, dryers, attics, and bathrooms
- The nondescript black outer finish
Because of its rigid construction, there is little-no wiggle room when installing on 4″ ducts. This can make installation a little more challenging
Best for airflow
Designed for silence, this ducting will decrease fan noise up to 50%, which can be very important in certain applications.
This flexible insulated duct features a thick aluminum foil outer layer for added durability, with a steel-wire helix to preserve its shape. It’s also fireproof and waterproof so it can be used for all kinds of HVAC systems. With a temperature range of -22°F to 302°F, it can be used for a variety of HVAC systems and home projects.
You can choose from a wide variety of sizes from 3” to 8” openings, and 16′ – 32′ long.
When compared to the Abuff Flexible air duct, the Hone and Guan air duct is too long. Due to its excessive length, this duct is not ideal for short ventage distances.
Similar to the AC infinity, this air duct has issues when connecting to a 6″ vent opening. The material is not the highest quality either, which makes the product easy to tear during installation.
- Very affordable flexible ducting
- Great for light fixture cooling in greenhouses
- Stays cool during hot applications
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 exceptional for high and low temperatures, and extreme fluctuations. In fact, it can be used in temperatures as low as -22 Fahrenheit and as high as 266 degrees Fahrenheit!
Your purchase comes with 2 duct clamps that fit over the 4-inch ends. With its flexibility, you can even fit this air duct over rectangular or oval-shaped openings. The inner layer also has hard steel spring wires to help keep its shape. This is handy in tight spaces where something could pinch the ducting and cause a clog.
The Abuff flexible air duct is not as strong of material as the picture makes it look. This material is not super high quality is prone to tearing during installation and general use over time. This air duct will likely need to be replaced within 4-5 years of use.
- Insulates sound very well
- Great for heat removal
- Features a very durable design
- No alternative size options
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 ductwork yourself in a short amount of time.
Does flex duct reduce airflow?
This is one of the few faults of flexible ductwork but it can be negated with careful installation. Flexible ductwork can become pinched in tight spots or by rodent and pest obstruction. If this happens, airflow 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!