Is it Time to Change Your HVAC Ductwork?


Is it Time to Change Your HVAC Ductwork?

HVAC Ductwork - Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & ElectricMany older HVAC systems were installed with round fiberglass ductwork, also referred to as fiber duct. However, over time, this ductwork material can present heating and cooling problems and lead to serious health concerns for occupants when it breaks down. In addition, old ductwork starts to leak or may shift and cause a poor fit at connector points, resulting in a lot of lost air (up to 25%).

What is fiberboard ductwork?
This is older ductwork fabricated with fiberglass strands and resin, with a foil exterior added for insulation. The interior fiberglass strands can trap dust and debris (and eventually affect air quality and system efficiency).

The problem with old fiberboard duct is that the fiberglass particles come loose and circulate through the house. These particles are inhaled by people in the home (or office), which is hazardous to everyone’s health. When this occurs, the ductwork should either be replaced or reinsulated with safer material.

Fiberglass ductwork
This ductwork is construction similarly to sheet metal duct with an added fiberglass lining to insulate against heat loss. This fiberglass lining muffles sound and is popular in commercial locations, but this ductwork requires intense cleaning. It is also less durable than sheet metal duct.

Signs your ductwork may need replacement
HVAC ducts have a typical life span of around 15 years, at which time it starts to deteriorate. Signs of wear and age—and reasons to have a licensed HVAC contractor inspect your ductwork—include:

  • Indoor comfort levels are reduced – you’ll find hot or cold spots in your home, or indoor air temperatures are not staying as warm or cool as expected
  • Energy bills are on the rise – poorly performing, aging ductwork reduces your HVAC system’s efficiency.
  • Your HVAC system is unusually noisy
  • The house is dusty – the dust penetrates the ducts from the outside (where holes are) and circulates throughout your home
    • You’ll see debris around the vents or dust in the air
    • You or your loved ones may be coughing or having respiratory problems
  • Your home smells like mold or mildew – these pathogens are a result of uneven temperatures inside/outside the ductwork, which invite condensation inside HVAC ducts—a breeding ground for microbes of all kinds

If you are experiencing any of these issues, we strongly recommend you have your ductwork inspected by a licensed HVAC professional like Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric.

A better solution: sheet metal ductwork
At Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, we specify and fabricate rigid sheet metal ductwork in our on-premises sheet metal shop, using durable galvanized steel or aluminum. This type of duct is smooth inside, does not collect dust like fiberglass does, and is easy to clean, maintaining good air quality for many years. It is safe for any environment and reduces wear on your HVAC system. Plus, because we fabricate our metal ductwork, we can handle custom specifications.

We also install flexible ducts, which are made with a steel spring coil and thick plastic covering. Flexible ducts are good for tight or unusual spaces, are less expensive and easier to install than rigid metal ductwork, but are vulnerable to punctures, twists, and sags. In older homes or for spaces in which running ductwork will be difficult or not necessary, we install high-quality Carrier ductless HVAC systems as well.

Whatever your HVAC needs—from routine maintenance and repairs to new system installations—contact Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric for a free consultation at or (973) 237-0505.


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