Why Sheet Metal?
Continuing research and development of highly efficient, residential heating and cooling equipment has resulted in more emphasis being placed on the design and installation of distribution systems. The performance of the components used in these systems are also being tested and analyzed.
The efficiency and the comfort level of a residential heating and cooling system can be adversely affected by an improperly designed and installed distribution system. The materials used in the components of such systems vary and must be selected properly in order to best achieve the goals of the entire HVAC system.
A distribution system made from galvanized sheet metal components is the first choice of designers and installers for their energy efficiency, durability, and ease of installation.
The smooth interior of galvanized sheet metal duct and fittings offers less resistance to airflow than any other duct material. They also maintain 100% airflow well by resisting abuse and the rigid geometry prevents improper installation. This maximizes airflow to each conditioned space of the house while reducing the risks of fire hazard due to trapped dust and other particulates. The galvanized steel materials used do not support the growth of mold and fungus and can be cleaned with mechanical equipment.
All components of a sheet metal system can be completely sealed and insulated, helping to prevent air flow leaks and maintain the system’s effectiveness. The energy expended by the air handler will be served by heating or cooling the rooms of the house, not the crawl spaces, attics, and wall cavities where the ductwork is placed.
Because of the availability of a wide variety of factory-made duct profiles and associated fittings, a variety of engineering designs can be achieved without compromise. Galvanized sheet metal components can also be custom fabricated in a sheet metal shop or at the job site in order to solve unique air flow problems.
Sheet metal duct and components normally exceed the life of the dwelling. These systems are not adversely affected by sunlight and/or high ambient temperatures; factory made metal ducts are made from UL class “0” materials (they have zero flame spread, i.e., they do not burn or spread flame).
The time tested, built-in mechanical locks in the components, attaching the components by means of special sheet metal screw, and the use of metal structural supports makes these system components very strong and long-lasting.
Sheet metal pipe, duct, and fittings are easy to install and standardized through industry codes and guidelines. Sheet metal systems or segments of systems can be uninstalled, inspected, and repaired easier than other types of systems.
Factory-made sheet metal pipe, duct and fittings are stocked locally and can be installed using basic hand tools. Installation procedures are time-tested using industry standard, uniformly sized components. Typically, certified installers are trained through apprentice programs and are licensed.
Following basic standards in design and installation, sheet metal air distribution systems provide superior comfort while maintaining affordability and value.
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Tips and information for general approximations only. All local codes and manufacturer’s instructions should be taken into account first and foremost when designing a distribution system.