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Different Types of Air Ducts and Why They Are Important


When we live inside a home, we continue to use the air inside it, filling it with dust, dirt, and many other pollutants. We also warm the air, which should’ve made living inside homes quite difficult in the summer.

But why aren’t we being affected by any of it? This is because of the air ducts present in our house. 

So, what is an air duct? Air ducts are a network of ducts spread throughout the house that suck the air inside the house through various air vents. The air is then carried to the HVAC system for filtering and being warmed or cooled.

The ducts then circulate the filtered and cooled/warmed air throughout the house, cleaning the air in the process. 

Let’s take a deeper look at what an air duct is and all the related details. 

When the air inside a house is being used, it continues to become polluted by dust, dirt, pollens, etc. Also, as we are warm-blooded animals, we continue to make the air around us warmer by the minute.

This can cause a lot of issues for the inhabitants of the house, such as discomfort, allergies, and energy inefficiency. 



This is where air ducts come into play. These ducts are part of a huge system that spreads throughout the house which also includes air filters and the HVAC systems. So, how do these ducts work? 

The working procedure of air ducts is fairly simple. There are a lot of air vents present throughout the house. The air ducts have a negative pressure in them, due to which they suck up the air through these vents.

This air is then passed through air filters, which filter out the dust and other particles present in the air. 

Once the air is filtered, it is then passed to the HVAC system to either cool or warm it. If it is summer, the AC is on, and the air is cooled. On the other hand, if it is winter, the heating system makes the air warmer. 

How many types of air ducts are there?

But how does the house still have air if the air ducts suck up all of it? Well, the job of the air ducts isn’t restricted to sucking air up and filtering them only.

Once the air has been filtered and warmed/cooled, the ducts collect the air from the HVAC system and circulate it back into the house. This is how air ducts maintain the flow of clean air throughout the house. 

There are different types of air ducts that have unique traits and serve different purposes. They are: 

1. Sheet metal duct


One of the most common types of air ducts, sheet metal ducts are made of sturdy galvanized steel or aluminum. Although the most common shape of these ducts is square or rectangular, they can also be round or oval.

If you are looking for air ducts that will be free of rust and mold, sheet metal air ducts are your best bet. 

2. Flex duct

flex duct


As far as rigidity goes, this type of air duct is the exact opposite of sheet metal ducts. Flex ducts are made of a spiral of steel wires. This spiral is then wrapped with plastic or any other polymer.

Then the duct is surrounded by insulation to complete the process. These ducts are excellent to install in places where rigid ducts will not do. 

3. Fiberboard duct

fiberboard duct


This duct is multilayered where the inner layer is made of compressed resin-bonded inorganic fiberglass. The outer layer is made of foil, which is wrapped around the first layer.

This kind of duct is an excellent insulator and very good for canceling out noise. On the other hand, they inhibit airflow and are susceptible to mold growing inside them. 

Benefits of air duct cleaning

As with any other part of your house, the air ducts also have to be maintained regularly. The best way to maintain your air ducts is to clean them at regular intervals. Here are the reasons why you should hire air duct cleaning services:

1. Keeping your house clean

Since air ducts have the responsibility to clean up the air of the entire house, keeping them clean is paramount. If the ducts themselves are dirty, the dirt inside them will then be circulated throughout the house.

This will have the exact opposite effect that you intended the air ducts to have. 

2. Ensuring the health of the inhabitants

Apart from keeping the house clean, air ducts have a big part in maintaining the health of its inhabitants. If the ducts are not cleaned, not only will they collect dust and dirt, but mold will also grow inside them.

Apart from that, pests and vermin such as insects and rats will start to live inside the ducts, causing the ducts to be blocked and the house to reek of dead bodies and excretion. 

All of this will play a big role in causing various health issues for the house’s inhabitants. Dirt, dust, and mold spores cause asthma and various other respiratory problems in humans.

The issues will be especially severe if the victim has a weak immune system. Insects and rodents carry a lot of diseases with them, some of which are fatal. 

To avoid all of the above health hazards, make sure you clean your air ducts regularly. 

3. Increasing energy efficiency

Since the air ducts carry filtered and warm/ cool air through them to the rest of the house, they must be kept clean. If the flow of air is blocked for some reason, then the house will not be properly warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

This will result in the increased use of the HVAC systems, and the energy efficiency of the house going down. 

Cleaning air ducts regularly will maintain and even increase the energy efficiency of the air ducts since the use of the HVAC units will be greatly reduced. As a result, you won’t consume too much energy and your energy bills will also go down.

So, not only do air ducts help conserve energy, but they also have a hand in saving money. 

Final Words

When we try to explain the importance of air ducts to new homeowners, one question we most often face is “What is an air duct?”.

Once you know what an air duct is, how it works, and the importance of keeping it clean, you will understand why you need a network of these ducts in your house. If you need to clean your air ducts, call us now to book our services


1. How much does it cost to clean air ducts?

The average air duct cleaning cost in the USA is around $500. But this cost can vary due to a lot of factors, such as the number of air ducts in the house, the size of the house, how dirty the ducts are, etc. 

2. How often should you clean air ducts?

On average, you should clean your air ducts once every 2 to 3 years. But this timeframe is not seat in stone, as many things decide the average air duct cleaning interval. These include where you live, the weather conditions of your area, the condition of the ducts, etc. 

3. How many ducts a house has?

The number of air ducts in a house depends on how big the house is. The larger the house is, the greater will be the number of air ducts in it. For example, if you have a room smaller than 100 square feet, you don’t need more than one air duct in it. But if the room is larger than 100 square feet, you will need at least two air ducts