round vs rectangular ductwork

You’ve probably never given a second thought to your air ducts – but we have. Air ducts come in different sizes, shapes, and materials. Why are there so many different kinds of ducts? Because each type of air duct serves a different purpose and has different strengths and limitations. To the everyday consumer, this might come as a surprise – and it is probably slightly overwhelming. But your local HVAC professionals have all the answers to help you outfit your building with the appropriate ductwork.

You might have heard your HVAC professionals discuss round vs rectangular ductwork – but what is the difference? And which one is right for your needs?

The Advantages of Round Air Ducts

Round hvac ducts are definitely the more common type of ductwork – and not without reason. There are many advantages to round ducts, from increased airflow, quick installation, and lower costs. If you’re trying to create a quiet, appealing workspace for your employees and customers, then round duct work is definitely the number one choice.

  • Less friction
  • Better, more efficient airflow
  • Easy to join pieces together
  • Faster installation
  • Better for medium to high pressure systems
  • Costs less for initial installation
  • Less noise pollution

The Disadvantages of Round Ductwork

However, certain situations do not allow for round ductwork. Why? Round ducts take up more height than do rectangular or square ducts. This means that in tight spaces, round hvac ducts just won’t fit. It can also become unappealing to the eye when trying to connect the fan coil to the main duct, which means connecting round to square duct openings.

  • Takes up more space (taller)
  • Not efficient for low pressure systems
  • Difficult to connect fan coil to main duct

The Advantages of Rectangular Air Ducts

So, when is it okay to use rectangular ductwork? As mentioned before, rectangular ducts are necessary whenever you’ve got a tight space that won’t allow for the height of round ducts. These square ducts also fix the issue of the ugly connection between fan coil and main duct.

  • Takes up less height
  • Easily connects fan coil to main duct
  • Better for low pressure systems

The Disadvantages of Square Ductwork

Okay, so why aren’t we using square ductwork all the time? Well…. That’s because rectangular air ducts have a few big drawbacks. They allow for more noise to escape from the duct, which can cause a lot of problems if you’re trying to create a safe and quiet employee environment. Rectangular hvac ducts also cost more to install initially, which can put a dent in your company’s pocket.

  • Higher noise pollution
  • Costs more for initial installation

Round vs Rectangular Ductwork – What’s the Verdict?

So we’ve told you about the pros and cons of round vs rectangular ductwork – but what’s our final opinion? In truth, the choice in round or rectangular ductwork isn’t entirely up to you (it’s up to your HVAC expert.) But, it all depends on how much space you have, if you have exposed ducts, if you have a high or low-velocity HVAC system, and more.

Need new duct work for your commercial building? Discuss all options with your commercial HVAC professional so you can get new duct work that is efficient, easy to look at, and affordable.