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Air Ducts 101

When it comes to the air ducts in your home, it’s easy to forget they’re even there. They’re an essential aspect of your HVAC system, but they’re a mostly silent and efficient part of what makes your home comfortable. This part of your system should be optimized for maximum performance in your home.

If you’re considering things like efficiency and lifespan when trying to decide which material is the best for the air ducts in your home, you should learn about options for air duct material. Here at Air Tech of Pasadena, we want to help you by making sure you’re prepared to make essential decisions like this for your home. To better understand how to make your home as efficient as possible, you should begin by knowing the most common types of air duct materials and how they could benefit your home.

Sheet Metal

Sheet metal is the most common type of ductwork material because it’s durable and easy to keep clean. It also takes credit for being the less expensive material compared to the others, and the chance of it being damaged due to water is much less of an issue. Since sheet metal is non-porous, it’s not easily infected with mold or other things that can take over and ruin your air ducts.

Steel metal air ducts can be galvanized steel or aluminum. This type of material is thick and hard and has a smooth surface which gives it a cleaner and more sleek look. If you’re looking for a simple and easy type of material for your air ducts, sheet metal is the way to go.


Fiberboard ducts are fiberglass strands that are boarded together by resin. The surface of the fiberboard is textured with foil on the top for insulation. This foil face on the outside serves as a barrier for air and water vapor. The inside is sealed to prevent fiberglass fibers from entering the air stream.

If you’re looking for a material that is great in terms of blocking sound and keeping the heat inside, fiberboard is the way for you to go. Being self-insulated, it’s resistant to rodents and other pests. It’s also beneficial due to its ability to be fabricated into any size or configuration so that it can fit in your home in the most efficient way possible.


Fiberglass material for air ducts is just sheet metal ducts that have come lined with fiberglass – either on the inside or outside of the ducts. The most noteworthy aspect of fiberglass material is its ability to block out the noise of the running air conditioner. The lining of this material is well-insulated and helps to reduce the heat that is sometimes lost as air travels through the ducts.

On the downside, these materials require much more intense cleaning than the other materials listed which can result in a decrease in durability. Fiberglass air ducts can deteriorate faster over time and release particles into the air that could potentially pose health concerns.

Flexible Air Ducts

Being made of wire and 2-ply plastic polymer, this kind of material offers ample flexibility, just as the name implies! Simply put, they’re flexible steel coils that come covered in thick plastic. These extremely flexible ducts can fit in the areas of your home where the firm metal ducts couldn’t ever go.

It’s important to be very careful when investing in this kind of material for your air ducts. While it offers a lower cost up-front and the light weight makes them very easy to install, that also poses a risk. We recommend leaving the installation and maintenance services of this kind of material up to the professionals because due to its flexibility, these ducts tend to be a little more fragile than the others.

Air Vent Covers vs Registers

There are aspects to your system that have different names and sound like they complete the same function, but that’s not always the case. If you’ve ever heard of an air vent cover or an air register, it can be easy to get confused about the differences between the two. We’re here to break it down for you:

Air Register

Your air register is in association with the supply vent of your system. Registers cover the holes in your walls, floors or ceiling where the air comes from your air ducts. The main purpose of a register is to supply air into the room by opening and closing the airflow with the adjustment of the damper.

A damper is a moveable plate that’s located inside your register. This helps in the regulation of the airflow and redirects it to different areas of the home. It helps with the air zoning in your space.

Air Vent Cover

The main difference between an air vent cover and an air register is the possession of a damper. An air vent cover DOES NOT have a damper, while an air register does. It serves the same purpose as an air register does, just without the assistance of a damper to direct airflow to areas of the home.

Pasadena Air Duct Services

It’s our mission to help you better understand the system that makes your home comfortable. It’s an essential part of a smooth-running home and we understand that it can sometimes be hard to understand. For more information on our air duct services and how we can help you to understand your system better, give Air Tech of Pasadena a call today!

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