Air ducts are the main network through which the airflow is fed and removed. Installed vent systems and ensure the full operation of the equipment.
They are also used for the hood in the kitchen. Such equipment is usually sold without them, so these components are purchased separately.
Why do we need ducts, and where are they used?
Air ducts are a must-have element of any ventilation or air conditioning system. Their main task is to regulate and direct airflow indoors.
Ducts are used to install any vent systems and air conditioners: household, commercial, industrial. They are also bought to connect the kitchen hood because it also removes contaminated air.
A galvanized perfolent is used to fasten the ducts. With it, these elements can be securely fixed on the wall or ceiling.
What are the functions of ducts?
Ducts are two types: exhaust and tedious. The first remove from the room contaminated air, the second – evenly serve fresh from the street.
In addition, ducts carry out high-quality noise and insulation. That is, prevent heat loss and reduce the noise level during hoods, ventilation systems, or air conditioning.
How to choose the right duct: practical advice from Vencon experts
Before choosing a duct for hood, vent system, or air conditioning, identify two points for yourself. First, what budget are you willing to allocate to buy them? Second – what result do you want to achieve from them (in terms of heat and noise insulation, etc.)? Only then can you start studying the catalog and finding the best solution.
Although ducts have compact dimensions and a simple design, this does not mean that there are few selection criteria. In fact, there are quite a lot of parameters to consider. And to make it easier for you, let’s take a closer look at what to look at and what to choose.
From what material to choose a duct
The first thing to decide before you pick up the duct – what material it should be made of. Today, three variants are popular: aluminum, plastic, metal. Each of them has its own features, which should be taken into account before buying.
Aluminum ducts: cheap but noisy
These ducts are made in the form of a soft wireframe, which is covered with aluminum foil. To seal them, additionally applied a layer of polyester.
They are delivered in a compressed state, and after unpacking, stretch to the optimal length (maximum – 5 times more than the original). In this regard, they have another name – duct flexible.
Characteristics of such products are as follows:
- The thickness of the wall is up to 100 microns;
- The section is round.
- The maximum temperature maintained is 250oC;
- 80 to 150 mm in diameter.
Their main advantages include:
- Affordable price (one meter in a stretched form will cost about $1);
- A large selection of sizes (it’s easy to find a suitable option);
- simple installation (everything takes no more than 5 minutes).
But they also have certain drawbacks:
- The wavy structure of the walls. In such conditions, high resistance to airflow is created, as well as a less efficient fan.
- Complexity in service. For the same reason, fat accumulates inside the duct in large quantities. It isn’t easy to clean it – it is easier to replace it with a new one.
- Low strength. Aluminum foil is very easy to damage with a sharp object.
- Design. The aluminum duct does not look good in a modern interior. Usually, it is used in the country or the summer kitchen. And in the apartment, aluminum corrugation is desirable to hide behind a decorative casing or cover with drywall.
In addition, such ducts make a lot of noise when the hood is turned on. This is due to the wavy profile (providing resistance to the air) and the low thickness of the walls (they are constantly vibrating). For this reason, such models are not in particular demand among owners of apartments and private houses.
Plastic ducts: stylish, quiet, but fire-threatening
Those who do not fit aluminum products can take a closer look at plastic analogs made of plastic. They are made of PVC, have good rigidity and strength. But such ducts do not bend, so you have to use differently shaped elements to connect sections.
Characteristics of plastic models are already more attractive than that of aluminum:
- The maximum temperature to be maintained is 200oC;
- The shape of the section is round or rectangular;
- Length – from 35 to 200 cm.
As for the advantages, here, the plastic duct wins against the background of aluminum products. After all, it has:
- smooth walls (this provides low air resistance);
- Stylish appearance (looks much better in the interior than aluminum);
- Resistance to impacts and chemical effects;
- Average noise level (when the hood is turned on);
- Long life
- acceptable weight.
However, it was not without its drawbacks. There are not many of them, but they may be critical for you:
- modest color scheme (only light shades are available, dark is almost impossible to find);
- Loss of initial properties during operation (over the years, plastic turns yellow);
- the risk of fire (at temperatures above 200oC, plastic may catch fire).
Also, plastic ducts have one unpleasant moment. If you choose rectangular products, you will surely come across that their walls will sag at the joints. As a result, cracks up to 4 mm wide are formed – and this not only spoils the whole picture but also reduces the efficiency of the ventilation system.
And in addition to the disadvantages can add a high price. Plastic ducts are much better than aluminum and therefore cost more. And, as mentioned above, to connect the sections, you need to buy shaped parts – and this is another item of expenses.
Metal ducts: strong, reliable, but expensive
And the last species on our list is metal ducts. They are made from a variety of materials, including:
- Galvanized steel;
- Painted metal;
- stainless steel;
In form, such ducts can be very different: round and rectangular, oval and square. They also have a wide size range. Like plastic, it is connected with the use of shaped parts.
Their key advantage is aesthetic. They look good in almost any interior of the kitchen so that your room will look decent. The only exception is galvanized steel models: over time, they become cloudy with time – and this “little thing” completely kills their main advantage.
As for the other advantages of metal ducts, here we can note:
- Good strength;
- Long life
- moderate roughness of walls (acceptable aerodynamic resistance);
- zero risks of fire (withstand temperatures of up to 500oC);
- corrosion protection (provided by special coating).
Their main drawback is the high price because they are much more expensive than aluminum and plastic analogs. Plus, as in the previous decision, you need to buy shaped parts here too.
And another caveat is that the ducts are heavier than plastic. The difference is small, but it still needs to be taken into account when choosing.
So which duct to choose? It is up to you to decide what to choose from these 3 options. In principle, if you calculate everything correctly and mount – you can achieve effective work of the vent system or hood with any product (plastic, aluminum, metal).
The difference is only 3 points:
- Appearance – on this parameter wins plastic (although the same corrugation can be hidden behind a decorative casing);
- The convenience of installation – here win aluminum ducts;
- cost – the cheapest will cost the same aluminum corrugation.
Therefore, the final choice depends on what is more important to you: appearance, price, or ease of installation.
Choose the duct by form.
When you decide on the material of ducts, you can move on to the choice of their shape. Here, too, there are several different options with their own features.
Round ducts were the most common. The reasons are two: first, they have a smooth surface (without rough edges), and, secondly, they have minimal aerodynamic resistance.
Rectangular analogs look better in the room’s interior, as they are straightforward to fit into the room. For example, you can hide in niches above lockers, under a stretch ceiling, or behind a decorative casing. There are more than enough options.
So what form to stop on? Here are the following recommendations for choosing a duct:
- Round models have large dimensions and are suitable only for rooms with high ceilings;
- Rectangular models are more compact and suitable for rooms with low ceilings;
- flat ducts occupy the least space and are the most imperceptible.
By the way, do not forget that the form is directly related to the material of ducts. For example, aluminum has only a round section, and plastic – also rectangular. That’s why we first choose the duct from the desired material and only then select the optimal shape.
Picking up the duct by diameter
The next step is to choose the diameter of the duct. This option is also significant, and here’s why.
First, when the diameter is incorrectly selected, the noise increases, and the load on the system doubles. And this usually ends with its rapid failure.
Secondly, the wrong diameter leads to increased resistance in the pipe and reduced airflow power. And there’s nothing good about that either.
Therefore, the diameter of the duct is chosen in such a way that it coincides with the diameter of the vent system or hood.
What else to consider when buying ducts?
Above, we have listed the most important criteria for choosing a duct, which should be looked at first. But this is far from their complete list.
There are several additional points that you also need to consider:
- The length of the duct. It is best to buy products 3 meters long. This is the optimal value. If you choose longer models, you’ll see lower performance.
- The size of the tube. It would help if you chose the dimensions taking into account the features of your vent system.
- Rigidity. According to this parameter, ducts are flexible and rigid. If you need the first – choose aluminum models. If the second – then plastic or metal.
- A view of the duct. There are a lot of varieties to choose from. Thus, the duct is seamless, flexible, isolated, semi-rigid, folding, telescopic, spiral-naive. Which one to choose? It depends on what properties you need: strength, flexibility, ease of installation, etc.
- The angle of the set-up. It ranges from 15 to 180 degrees. And how to make the right choice? Here consider what ducts and installation elements you use and where and how you want to lay the ventilation system.
- The length of the noise-by. The bigger it is, the quieter the hood, ventilation, or air conditioning system will work. The spread along the length is large – from 0.5 to 2 meters. But it is also wrong to choose the maximum value, as such ducts are expensive. To not overpay too much – start from the noise level you want to get (and which will be acceptable to you).
As for the brand, here the recommendations are straightforward: choose products from leading manufacturers and make no mistake. For example, you can safely buy ducts from Blauberg, Vents, Airroxy, Europlast, Salda. All of them specialize in the production of quality ventilation systems and offer reliable components to them.
The budget price category includes Vents ducts. It is produced by a Ukrainian company that offers affordable prices for its goods. If you are interested in more reliable ducts, you can look at the Lithuanian company Salda, the Latvian firm Europlast or the Polish manufacturer Airroxy. And the highest quality ducts are produced by Blauberg. This is a German company, so the reliability of its products can not even be doubted. True, and it stands accordingly.
Now you have to understand better how to choose the right duct for the hood or vent system. The algorithm of action is the same as always. First, we pass on the basic criteria, then – on additional. And thus, we choose the duct, which suits you on all these parameters.
The only thing you need is to understand what characteristics are worth paying attention to. That is, remember the basic rules of choosing a duct. You can then study the catalog and order a solution for yourself.