The ductwork in your home needs to be replaced after some years to prevent leakage and ensure better sealing. Replacing flexible duct with rigid duct has been the craze lately and it’s quite easy to do as well. You can easily remove the flexible duct with a small knife. Then all you have to do is fix a rigid duct in its place.
Flexible Ductwork Vs Rigid Ductwork
The two most common ductwork used in the home is flexible ductwork and rigid ductwork. A flexible duct is the easiest duct to install so it’s largely used in home improvement works. These ducts are made out of highly durable flexible plastic. But, the mainframe inside the plastic wrap is made from helical round steel wire.
On the other hand, rigid ducts are not so flexible. The manufacturers are using different metals and materials for making them. But the most commonly used materials and metals are steel, aluminum, fibreglass, fiberboard, etc. all of these metals are highly durable and can last for a long time even in harsh conditions.
The rigid ducts are a little harder to install than flexible ducts. Also, flexible ducts are less likely to emit any hazardous particles into the air. So, it ensures better air quality than rigid ducts. However, they can be easily damaged and punctured whereas rigid ducts can sustain for a longer period without any wear and tear.
How To Replace Flexible Duct With Rigid Duct
Flexible ducts are generally much easier to install because of their flexibility. But they are more likely to get damaged because of their plastic body construction. So, many are choosing rigid ducts over flexible ducts. Now, let’s take a look at how you can replace your old flex duct with a rigid duct skillfully and conveniently.
What You Need
Replacing old ductwork is a rather easy job. However, depending on the place where the ductwork is, it can be pretty tricky. In tight spaces, crawling back and forth is very hard. So, collect all the necessary tools before getting into the actual work.
The basic tools include a flashlight, knife, drill, etc. Besides, both the ducts have steel wires and sharp edges that dug into the skin very easily so a pair of gloves can be very useful. Also, wear a mask as the air around the duct can be dusty and harmful. And you are good to get into the real work.
Removing The Old Flex Ductwork
The first actual step of the replacing project is removing the old ductwork. The flex ductworks are generally easy to remove. It is usually connected with the metal joints of air vents. So, you have to start at one end of the ductwork and work your way around.
Take a sharp knife and cut it into the insulation. Cut a whole part around the insulation and you can see metal steel wire that works as the frame of the duct. Then cut the steel wires of that section with a metal cutter. The plastic body of the duct is generally connected to the vent with tapes or a zip lock. Detach that as well.
Lastly, remove all the tapes around the vent and clean the place a little. So, that when the new duct is connected there is no dust or dirt inside the vent. Similarly, remove the other side of the duct that’s connected to the outside part. It’s probably just taped to something on its way out. So, just removing the tape will do the job.
Installing The New Rigid Duct
After removing the old ductwork, comes the installation part. Rigid ducts are generally made of metals so they are hard to bend. For fitting the duct with the air vent, you need to cripple the end of the pipe, take a plier and bend a small part of the edge slightly to cripple them. Start from a side and work your way around.
Build the whole duct by attaching the duct pipes. Make sure to cripple one of the pipes so that fits into the other pipe. Then tape them together so it doesn’t come off. after that, you have to wrap the ducts in insulation. Put the insulator around the ducts and fix them together by wrapping duct tapes around them.
After the whole duct is wrapped in the insulator, fix the opening ends of the duct with the air vent. You can drill some holes and secure them with the air vent with some nails. Wrap some more tape around the joint so that there is no space. This helps the air to flow directly into the ducts without leaking.
How to Replace HVAC Flex Duct
Replacing a HAVC flex duct is a very easy job that you can do by yourself in a short time. For this job, you are going to need some basic tools such as flashlights, a sharp knife or cutter, duct tape, zip locks, metal cutter, etc. wear hand gloves to prevent hurting your hand with the steel wire in the duct.
Get to the end of the old ductwork where it’s connected to the air vent. The joining should be wrapped with duct tape. Now cut through the insulator of the ducts and work your way around until you can see a whole opening. Then cut the steel wires using the metal cutter and remove the plastic body from the air vent joining.
Clean up the joining so that it’s easier to install the new ducts. Now take the new ducts and set one end of the ducts with the air vent. Then, secure the joining with a zip-lock around it. There is a hinge below the joining part that prevents the zip lock from coming off. finally, tape the opening with the duct tapes so that it’s secure.
Installing Semi Rigid Duct For HVAC
Installing a semi-rigid duct for HVAC is very similar to installing rigid ductwork. Before the installation, build the whole ductwork beforehand by attaching them with metal screws. Use foil or duct tapes over the joints to fit them more securely. As for side sections, cut holes through them and fix them similarly.
For a HVAC system, you need to wrap them in an insulator before installing them. Spread the insulator on the floor and put the ducts in the middle. Now, roll them into the insulator and use duct tapes over the whole section so that the insulator can’t come off. after insulating the whole duct, it’s ready to install.
Now all you have to do is joining the opening end of the duct with the air vent. You can use nails and tapes to close any space so the air can’t flow out of the duct. Also, semi-rigid ducts are generally heavier than flex ducts. Use tape to support their weight so that they are fixed in place.
Frequently Asked Question
Q: Can I use a semi-rigid duct for dryers?
Ans: Yes. This is a great choice if you need a flexible duct. It’s got comparatively smaller ridges inside that allow better airflow and prevents lint buildups. Also, it can withstand fire better than other flexible ducts.
Q: How long does flex ductwork last?
Ans: Flexible ductwork can last up to 50 years. However, the duct shelf life can vary greatly depending on the type of ductwork installed. For instance, Silver lining ductwork can last more than 50 years.
Home improvement projects often require changing the ductwork in your home. Besides, replacing the old ductwork once in a while is highly recommended to prevent unwanted leakage in pipes. If you are thinking of replacing your flex duct with rigid ductwork but aren’t sure how this article will help you along the way.