If you're drawing up plans for a new commercial building, your attention may be turning to air conditioning. You'll certainly need to ensure that this functions correctly in the hot Australian climate but may notice that there are two different product types when it comes to ducting. What's the difference between these solutions, and what should you choose for your project?
Picking the Best Option
For an air conditioning system to distribute cooler air to various parts of the building, you need an efficient and long-lasting ducting system. You can choose between flexible and rigid materials, or in some situations, may combine both products.
If you do not have any space above a ceiling (or even beneath your floor), then it may be better for you to choose rigid ducting. You need to incorporate this design into your blueprints and should work with an expert to ensure that the dimensions are always appropriate for the demand. It's more complex to install this ducting than the flexible alternative, as there is usually no margin for error.
In addition, this type of ducting will weigh a lot more than its counterpart, so you need to make sure you mount it correctly. Rigid ducting features stainless or galvanised steel, but you could also use PVC plastic in some situations.
Most residential homes have flexible ducting, which you will usually find in the attic space. It's very easy to manoeuvre into tight spaces and deal with twists and turns as you connect the compressor to various rooms. Sometimes, fitters will use flexible ducting in a commercial environment to connect the rigid ducting to smaller spaces elsewhere.
Bear in mind that flexible ducting is not as durable as the alternative, and you need to be careful during installation. You also need to ensure that you protect the duct work going forward, as it's easy to puncture. Should this happen, you will certainly lose efficiency. Flexible ducting can be made from a number of different materials, including polyurethane and aluminium.
Weighing the Options
It is certainly easier and cheaper to install flexible ducting, but it may not be as efficient. Due to its inherent design, it's more difficult for the air to flow, leading to additional noise.
Getting Further Help
Talk with an HVAC expert while you are planning. They'll help you choose between rigid and flexible or even advise if a combination would be best in your case.