Fiberboard Ductwork | Metal Ducting vs Fiberboard Ducting
LESLIE: Kim in Michigan has got a ducting question. How can we help you with your project?
KIM: I recently needed to replace a furnace in a rental house that we had. So we got a couple of estimates and went ahead and got the furnace replaced. The furnace is, I don’t know, a couple of feet tall, big square box. Up from the furnace comes a metal ducting – duct work – that goes up. And then that goes up maybe, I don’t know, a foot-and-a-half, 2 feet. And then beyond that, it’s – the ductwork is made of cardboard. I don’t know what kind of cardboard and I’m sure there’s a name for it; I just don’t know what that is.
TOM: Right. It’s probably fiberboard.
KIM: Then the duct work goes over to the left to hook into the cold-air return, which looks like a big box that’s built into the wall. So I’m not really sure what that is, like just a big cold-air return.
Anyway, so that’s also made – so it goes – the duct work goes to the loft and it’s about 6 inches thick. In the middle of that, there’s a furnace – yeah, a furnace filter. And so all that is made of cardboard, which makes – where you slide into the furnace filter, it just seems really flimsy. So we’re not really sure who to contact. Of course, the gentleman that did it said it was done right. And if we went with all metal all the way up, like most ductwork is made out of, then it would be really noisy.
TOM: Well, not necessarily. That’s not true at all. So if you were to replace this fiberboard ductwork with metal ducts properly constructed and installed, it would not be noisy at all. Now, some people complain about metal ducts because when they fill with air, they have – sometimes they have a popping sound. That’s called oil-canning but it’s very easy to fix and frankly, it’s very easy to avoid if you do the metal ducts correctly.
So I think that the best option for you is to think about replacing those with metal ducts and then also flex duct where it makes sense to do that. It’s a pretty quiet system and it’s real sturdy and you can have the contractor build in a place for the filter at the same time.
KIM: OK. And shouldn’t that have been put in with the filter or with – in there originally? Or should we have to pay extra for that?
TOM: No, the filter should – the filter area should be built in at the same time. It all should be one price.
KIM: Yeah, that’s kind of what I wanted to know, where to go from here so …
TOM: Alright. Well, good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.