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Why Choose Spiral Ducts Over Rectangular Ducts When it Comes to HVAC Systems?

Blog | 16 April 2019

Many moons ago, rectangular ducts were universal. They ruled HVAC systems. Times change, though, and spiral ducts are now every bit as popular as their four-sided peers. There may even come a time when spiral air channels are preferable. Rectangular ducts would then fade into the mists of time as an extinct form of HVAC airflow conveyance. Sounds good, but why are spiral ducts becoming so widespread now?

Built With a Spiral Seal

Spiral ducting is undeniably popular. One reason for this state of demand is their leak resisting seals. The lightweight aluminium coils are practically airtight. Unlike smaller rectangular sections, they’re packed in the back of HVAC trucks as 6-metre length sections. Even loaded like this, they look unusually appealing. Then, mounted by an installation professional, the airflow generated by an in-line fan zips down the ducting. The system air probes for leaks, but a lack of longitudinal and transverse joints ensure a leak-less journey. In rectangular systems, short lengths are fastened together, so there’s a longitudinal, and leak susceptible, joint every few metres along the boxy length of tubing.

All about Spiral Aesthetics

Galvanized rectangular channels look clunky and unattractive, which is why they’re still imprisoned above false ceilings. Aluminium-based spiral ductwork has never been and will never be treated so disrespectfully. Someone can walk into a modern restaurant or microbrewery and see those shiny, seam-corkscrewing ducts mounted below a ceiling. They’re visually appealing, so why hide them? Better yet, and we’re still inside that restaurant, spiral ducts are designed to reduce noise. They channel air quietly. Rectangular ducts create loud metallic sounds as their panels suck inward after a fan stops. The hollow noise pops over a dining couple again as the metal panel bows outwards after the airflow switches on again. Energy efficient and airtight, spiral ducting stays quiet while using less fan power to generate a powerful cooling or heating effect.

There’s one redeeming factor that saves rectangular ducting. The metal is, after all, easy to cut and shape. It’s all straight lines and right-angles, with an occasional switch in direction occurring as the ductwork transitions into a new room. Still, that single benefit can’t win the day for four-sided HVAC linkages. For every less-than-impressive angular advantage, there are two or more significant spiral advantages. Curved tubing, complete with its spiraling seam, won’t leak, and it’s quieter than those rectangular channels. Furthermore, as if any other benefits are needed to prove their case, spiral channels gently guide HVAC currents around manageable bend sections. With boxy ducting, the directional transitions are harsher and less accommodating.

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