Spiral ducts are popular in the HVAC industry for their contemporary aesthetic and overall efficiency. For example a round duct is more efficient than a rectangular duct in performing the same task; it is also smaller in cross-sectional area and has less duct wall exposed to moving air.
So what are the differences between round ducts and rectangular ducts and can spiral ductwork save money and increase efficiency?
1. Air leakage at duct joints can lead to energy loss and impaired system efficiency. Quality self-sealing spiral duct systems can guarantee a system that meets or exceeds the highest industry air-leakage standard.
2. When leakage is virtually eliminated, the actual cost of filtering, heating, cooling, and distributing conditioned air is kept to a minimum.
3. The pressure drop of air leaving an air-handler is usually lower in a typical spiral system. The spiral design provides equal pressure internally and allows the air to flow evenly and efficiently, also leading to lower energy use.
4. Air leakage can be detrimental to indoor air quality. Because of concern regarding "sick buildings," there is a demand for more fresh-air intake. With airtight ducts, it is easier and more economical to meet these stricter demands.
5. The problem of noise breakout can be avoided with spiral duct because the reverberation created by the pressure differential existing in rectangular duct does not occur with spiral duct.
6. The inherent design of rectangular duct involves air moving around sharp edges, dampers, and turning vanes. Obstruction to airflow can contribute to noisy turbulence. With spiral duct, less sharp edges equal less noise.
7. Many facilities now require regular inspection and internal cleaning of ductwork. The approved cleaning methods for spiral duct are readily available, economical, and effective.
8. With rectangular duct, extra space - up to 3 inches extra - must be factored in for the connections and reinforcements needed at each joint. This is not a consideration when installing spiral ductwork.
9. Air-flow measurement, a periodic responsibility of a mechanical engineer, can be simplified. Many accurate and inexpensive flow-measurement devices specifically designed for spiral duct enable regular check-ups or continuous monitoring.
10. The installed cost of spiral duct - which includes product, parts, labor, warehousing, transportation, packaging, and waste disposal - can be considerably less than rectangular duct (in some cases, up to 50-percent less).
At Alpha Mechanical Services Ltd we can advise you of the best solution to your needs. We offer a full range of mechanical consulting, installation and maintenance services with expertise in all aspects of commercial and retail HVAC systems. We have our own in-house engineering, fabrication, commissioning and health and safety experts to ensure cost-effective delivery of the highest quality solutions in a zero harm environment.
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