Category - Air Conditioning
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Will Scholfield, Engineer

31 Jan : Updated 24 Oct ● 3 min read

Types of air conditioning ducting & their uses


Are you thinking of installing an air conditioning unit? Are you unsure on which duct to opt for? BOXT have created this helpful guide to assist you. 

Air ducts are the passages that are responsible for distributing the cooled air around your home, without these channels your air conditioning system would be useless. 

There are several different types of ducting. The type of ducting you should opt for depends on your specific needs. But first you need to know all about the different types of ducting to make your decision. 

Flexible ductwork

A flexible duct is one of the easiest ducts to install. This type of ductwork is made up of a steel wire covered in plastic. The plastic makes the ductwork flexible. It has insulation to ensure that the air stays at the desired temperature and is relatively cheap. 

A flexible duct is suitable for tight spaces. However, its bendy state can often cause kinks that prevent the air flowing properly, reducing the system’s efficiency. 

Rigid ductwork

As the name suggests - this type of ductwork is rigid and cannot bend like the flexible air duct. This allows the air to flow properly so you can receive full efficiency out of your air conditioning system. This type of air duct is much stronger than the flexible duct. However, rigid ductwork cannot be used in small spaces like the flexible duct can. 

Rigid ducts can be made out of several different materials. 

Fibreglass lined 

Fibreglass works as an insulator, keeping the air cool. It also muffles the sound of air travelling through the duct, making it suitable for use in offices. 

Although it is a good insulator, fibreglass can disintegrate over time and release fibres into the air - this can cause a range of health problems. Fibreglass is also prone to mould because of its porous state. 

Sheet metal 

This is the most common type of ductwork, made of steel or aluminium. Its smooth surface is also straightforward to clean. 

Sheet metal is a resistant material that provides better air quality and is very durable. The only disadvantage with the sheet metal duct is that it is more susceptible to leaks where the sheets join. 


Fibreboard ducts are the least expensive, made up of compressed fibreglass. Fibreboard is an excellent insulator, but it is prone to grow mould. The rough surface can also prevent sufficient airflow, reducing the efficiency of your A/C system. 

Which is the best type of ducting?

The most recommended type of ducting is sheet metal; however, the best type of ducting for you depends on your space and your budget. 

Looking to speak to a professional?

At BOXT, we sell quality air conditioners at a price you cannot fault. Speak to one of our specialists today on 0800 193 7777. Alternatively, you can always message us on our Live Chat service. We can guide you on the best type of ducting for your specific needs. 

You can also use our handy ‘find an AC’ online tool to receive a fixed price quote for an air conditioning unit suitable for your home. 

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