Problems With Flex Ducts
Flex ducts have a purpose. And in fact, can be quite useful in certain situations.
The problem arises with the installation process. In most cases, flex ducts are rarely installed correctly, and there begins the problem.
The most common problems we see with flex ducts are:
- Sharp turns
- Long duct runs without proper support
- “Ductopus” where there are too many ducts coming off the plenum and the takeoffs are too close together
- Duct length that should have been cut off
- Poorly fastened connections
- Poorly sealed connections
- Joints that are just taped together
And when problems arise, efficiency goes down.
Some contractors and industry experts will argue that flex ducts should be eliminated altogether. Because most installs using flex ducts have problems, it means most homes using flex ducts are not as efficient as they could be.
Flex ducts were designed for specific uses. Not all parts of the home provide space for straight lines and crisp corners. In some cases, flex ducts make the most sense. Other options include:
- Duct board, rigid fiberglass with a foil facing.
- Rigid sheet metal, often called hard pipe.
But in both cases, these solutions bring their own set of problems to the table. Because they do not flex, they require a lot of maneuvering to get them installed. And any time you use a product in less than ideal situations, problems arise.
For us, the key isn’t in banning flex duct or removing it from the home. Instead, it’s about proper installation. If rigid ducts are used whenever possible, and flex ducts are used in a proper way to connect all deviations from the straight pathways, you’ll have good results.
It’s not the product that has the problems; it’s the process. Flex ducts have a place in our homes, but if they aren’t used properly, they can cause your home to be less than efficient.
Do you have flex ducts installed?