Is There a Standard Thickness for Ductwork Sheet Metal?

Each batch of sheet metal is made to differing levels of strength, size, and thickness depending on the exact performance tests it has to pass. For universal adoption of appropriate standards to be possible, it was necessary to create a governing body to regulate and approve particular use of components based upon their qualification. The Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors‘ National Association (SMACNA) is an international trade association that establishes the industry standards for acceptable construction material criteria used in HVAC. These codes declare the minimum allowable thickness for ventilation ductwork sheet metal across various sizes, shapes, and raw materials used for individual applications. Sheet metal has specific guidelines determined by use, which the product must be within after being manufactured or fabricated for:

• Commercial
• Industrial
• Residential

Gage-It Right

To save on the money and resources in an initial investment, it is common to choose the least allowable thickness that fits into the design plans while still possessing the right qualifying tolerances. The thinnest acceptable sheet metal for ductwork used in a single dwelling is 28 gage or 0.013 and 0.018 inches for galvanized and aluminum, respectively. This measurement is for around duct smaller than 12 inches in diameter and a rectangular section no bigger than 8 inches. These figures are for construction according to the most recent edition of the updated codebook published in 2018. Additionally, there are also specs for the correct galvanizing coating that is supposed to be used as well, and knowing how to get all the details right is why it is important to have a professional handle all installations.

The sheet metal that is used to create ductwork that supplies ventilation to living and working spaces has to be able to withstand the pressure created by the system in order to follow the building code. The standard thickness increases for larger dimensions of piping made from sheet metal so it can withstand the stresses of greater length and diameter without buckling under its own weight. The two most common metals used for ductwork are aluminum and galvanized steel, and the requirements for both are listed in the International Mechanical Code book. Further guidelines are also found in the SMACNA HVAC Duct Construction – Metal and Flexible book, which further clarifies best practices for a host of possible scenarios. When you’re ready to find out what we can do for you, give us a call at 408-295-2182.

How Custom Sheet Metal Is Used to Make Air Ducts

How Custom Sheet Metal Is Used to Make Air Ducts

Creating custom ductwork out of sheet metal is a process that can either be done primarily with hydraulic machinery, or through a handmade process that requires minimal help from heavy equipment. Proper ducting is a key part in an HVAC system that runs safely and efficiently, which is why hiring professionals with expertise in custom metal fabrication is a key component in developing an effective HVAC structure. Although the handmade process requires more patience and effort, both methods have the ability to produce ideal results.

Custom sheet metal ductwork that is done primarily by hand still requires a good amount of materials and tools. For clean cuts, minimal deformation, and optimal bending, laborers will need:

  • swing beam shears
  • galvanized sheet metal
  • a professional plate roller

Prior to the sheet metal being fed into the roller, the swing beam sheers are used to cut each section into the custom lengths necessary for creating the pockets and extensions for each duct. Each corner should be notched by a notching tool in order to form a click-and-lock system that will allow the straight trunk ductwork to lock into place later on.

After the Plate Roller or Hydraulic Press Brake Is Utilized

Whether the galvanized sheet metal is fed into a plate roller during the handmade process, or fed into a hydraulic press brake at a metal fabrication facility, it will need to be fastened together on a fabrication bench. The lock joint should then be finished at a 90 degree angle. Laborers can slightly bend the sheet with a wide manual break beforehand if they feel that it is necessary.

Installing a duct system that meets the custom specifications of each HVAC setup should be a primary concern for any commercial or residential consumer. When the ductwork in a building’s HVAC system is subpar, energy costs immediately reflect the lack of efficiency present within the structure itself. Recruiting professionals who have extensive knowledge in custom sheet metal ductwork will provide you with an HVAC setup that is both cost-effective and energy efficient. See how our HVAC experts can help you install a custom ductwork system at 408-295-2182

What Are the Benefits of Custom Ductwork Fabrication?

Fabricating custom ductwork is necessary to make sure that your ducts are connected right and customized to your unique home. A custom heating and air conditioning system delivers results that are sufficient and consistent with your needs. Before you choose the ideal HVAC installer, learn more about the main benefits of fabricated custom ductwork.

Right Size

No HVAC installation is made with a one-size-fits-all plan. The sizes of most homes are different along with the duct units. Custom fabricators will make careful measurements of your walls and install ducts that are never too small or too large. Ducts that are too small will not produce enough heating or cooling, and ducts that are too large will waste it.

Improved Energy Efficiency

Custom-made ducts are free of cracks, holes and other imperfections that cause air leaks. The airflow is secured to prevent a loss of as much as 80% of heat or cool air. Greater energy efficiency means more comfort because you don’t need to get up and readjust the thermostat constantly.

Enhanced Performance

Your home’s performance increases once the ducts become more efficient. The rooms cool down or heat up faster, and you won’t feel major temperature differences when moving from one part of the room to another. Instead, the custom parts are fitted to maintain stable temperatures and ensure comfort all year round.

Lower Energy Bills

Improved energy efficiency means reduced energy bills over time. Properly installed ducts help the average homeowner to save hundreds of dollars a year. In addition, most custom installations are made to accommodate any budget.

Fast Installation

Custom fabrications come in a large variety of costs, sizes, and designs. Speed is the factor that is the same with all installations. Some companies can start building the ducts on the same day that they receive the sketch and install the parts the next day. Making custom ductwork is not difficult for a good company, and the project will not take more than a few days to complete.

Repairing an HVAC system is one of the costliest home projects there is. If you don’t do the installation right the first time, you’ll continue needing repairs for decades. Homeowners should consider customizing their ductwork and increasing the efficiency of their heating and cooling systems. To learn more about our services and get started, call our company today at (408) 295-2182.

What’s the Best Quality Sheet Metal for Ductwork?

When installing ducts in a facility, the type of material that goes into these systems is often overlooked. However, one of the most important elements in ductwork is sheet metal. If you want your ducts to work effectively and efficiently, you need ducts with designs that can prevent leakage when moving air through the HVAC system, and sheet metal is the key. There are a couple of different types of sheet metal materials that are ideal for use in ductwork:

  • Galvanized mild steel
  • Aluminum

With either of these materials, your system will be able to effectively maintain the air quality in any space with minimal risk of leakage. Galvanized mild steel is used most often for building ducts. This material’s zinc coating helps prevent corrosion and rust buildup. Its versatility also allows fabricators to design ducts in different shapes to meet specific installation needs.

Ducts make with galvanized mild steel are always fabricated using duct wrap, which helps reduce noise and prevent the loss of cold or hot air that could otherwise occur without any insulation in place. Some ductwork is made with insulation panels that don’t require any additional lining and are suitable for instant installation. With the help of this insulation, you can benefit from additional cost-effectiveness and reduced energy expenses.

Aluminum sheet metal is another popular option because of its lightweight construction that facilitates easy installation. Aluminum sheets typically consist of pre-insulated panels. Once the duct sections are cut to size, sections are attached at the seams using aluminum tape and glue.

The ductwork that Meets Industry Standards

Top-quality ductwork made with galvanized mild steel and aluminum sheet metals will meet Energy Star® standards, which means that these systems are among the most energy-efficient. A reliable sheet metal fabricator will be able to provide you with sufficient steel or aluminum duct systems that meet these standards while helping ensure you get the most from your ductwork, lowering energy costs and maximizing your HVAC system’s longevity.

In addition to long-lasting and efficient ductwork, a good fabricator will also be able to cover nearly every other aspect of your HVAC systems, providing custom fabrication for a wide variety of components such as offsets, duct elbows, and transitions. If you’re ready to get started, call (408) 295-2182 today!

What Can Be Made With Custom Sheet Metal?

Custom sheet metal is developed through bending and cutting a metal sheet that is generally less than a quarter of an inch in thickness. Generally, custom sheet metal is used when there are special manufacturing processes needed or when standard made parts do not fit with the machinery being used. Using custom sheet metal allows for the ability to aid in problem-solving that is not helped by using standard parts. The number of applications of uses of custom sheet metal is literally unlimited.

Custom sheet metal is used for projects in numerous places including hospitals, restaurants, nursing homes, grocery stores, and other various architectural applications. Custom sheet metal is most commonly used in the construction of specialized heating, ventilation, and cooling systems (HVAC) in order to allow them to fit in around building systems or other existing structures.

Why Should You Use Custom Sheet Metal?

In order to complete some construction jobs, custom sheet metal is the only choice due to the components needed to complete the construction not being available. Many times, certain parts do not exist at all and custom sheet metal is the only method to complete the task at hand. Custom sheet metal also provides more choices in materials than parts that are made standard. With custom sheet metal, you can use a lighter or heavier material depending on the needs of your construction project. Further, custom sheet metal allows for the development of parts that may provide better performance than standard parts.

Another advantage of using custom sheet metal is that it is often of higher quality than standard parts because the part is manufactured by an expert for a specific purpose. This means that the part is not cut or stamped in a production facility that is making large amounts of products. Each part that is made of custom sheet metal is expertly crafted and examined to make sure it is perfect for the project it was constructed for.

Custom sheet metal fabrication can serve many purposes. You may need a custom part or device, enhance your current device or part, or have a part reconstructed to fit your needs. It is important to keep in mind that all custom sheet metal parts are made to order and should be constructed by an expert in custom sheet metal fabrication.

If you would like more information regarding custom sheet metal fabrication to contact us today at 408-295-2182.

What Can You Expect to Pay for Sheet Metal Ductwork?

Ductwork is the networking of tubes that are connected to heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and run throughout homes. The purpose of ductwork is to diffuse air from the HVAC system into homes. If you are considering installing an HVAC system within your home, you must install companion ductwork.

If your home has an existing ductwork network that is old or in poor condition, you may need to install a new ductwork system. If your ductwork has cracks, leaks, or is in poor condition, you should consider replacing your ductwork network. There are several factors that affect the cost of ductwork installation. The factors include the shape of the ducts, the length of the ducts, and the type of HVAC system that the ductwork is going to be connected to.

Ductwork Installation

In general, the installation of ductwork takes place within the attic of homes. Ductwork contractors plan and map out the lines of ductwork necessary for your home based on the lighting within your home. The ductwork is then cut and trimmed in order to fit the exact lengths needed for your space. After cutting the ductwork, joints are then attached and the ducts are connected to your HVAC system and the vents within your home.

The most common HVAC systems that require ductwork include:

  • Central air conditioning
  • Furnace heating
  • Central gas heating
  • Geothermal heating

Keep in mind that the ductwork installed for air-conditioning systems are also installed for heating systems.

Cost of Ductwork

The average cost of ductwork is $35 to $65 per linear foot, with the additional fee of labor and materials. The overall cost for ductwork within an average home ranges from $1,000 to $6,000. An average single-family home requires approximately 30 to 90 linear feet of ducting. The total specific length of ducting usually depends on a home’s particular layout. The material chosen for ductwork can vary in price. The types of ductwork and their average prices per linear foot include:

  • Flexible aluminum – $1.00 – $4.00
  • Flexible non-metallic – $1.00 – $2.00
  • Fiberglass duct board – $4.50 – $6.00
  • Sheet metal – $1.50 – $6.00

If you are looking to have your ductwork replaced or installed, please contact us at 408-295-2182. We look forward to speaking with you and addressing your unique concerns and needs.

How Can You Fabricate Ductwork by Yourself?

Most homeowners hire professional technicians to repair their HVAC units. When you want to save money, you might wonder if you have what it takes to do your own ductwork.

Depending on how handy you are with a few simple tools, you could craft ductwork that might work well in your HVAC. You can fabricate your own ductwork by following these steps.

Gather the Necessary Materials

Before you make your own ductwork, you need to make sure you have the right materials and tools on hand. You should start by purchasing a piece of sheet metal that measures four by eight feet.

You also should make sure you have a table and work area that is large enough to accommodate the sheet metal. After you buy the metal and tools like a sheet metal hammer and steel ruler, you can start making ductwork for your HVAC.

Measure and Mark the Sheet Metal

Using the steel ruler, you can then start measuring and marking the metal before cutting and forming it. Place the steel ruler anywhere from 10 to 12 inches from the metal’s long edge. After lining up the ruler to the sheet metal, mark the metal at one inch in two places. Make sure the marks are two feet apart.

Then slide the ruler away from the metal’s edge until the edge of the ruler lines up at one of the one-inch marks. Locate the measurement on your ruler that corresponds with the width of the duct and then mark the metal at this point. Repeat this for one more inch.

Continue this process to measure for the height and length as well as one more measurement for the width of the duct. The last measurement should be marked at the ¼-inch mark. When you are finished marking the metal, you should have a pattern of:

  • One inch
  • Width of the duct
  • Height of the duct
  • Width of the duct
  • ¼-inch

When this pattern is in place, you are ready to put the ductwork together.

Bending the Metal

Bending and crafting the metal into ductwork requires you to use a lock former machine. Follow the measurements on the metal to bend it at each mark. You will have a ¼-inch lip on the duct when it is finished. Use a sheet metal hammer to clamp this down and lock the duct into place.

Ductwork does not have to cost you a lot of money. If you are handy with working with sheet metal, you could craft your own for your HVAC. Call us today at 408-295-2182 for more information.

How are Sheet Metal Ducts Made?

There are basically two types of ductwork. The first type, which is also the most frequently used, is rigid and often made of galvanized sheet metal. The other type is flexible and is usually constructed with plastic. This blog will take a deeper look at the former type and how exactly this ducting is constructed.

When metal ductwork is installed in a building, it is custom fitted so that it fits exactly into the dimensions in the floor, ceiling or wall. There is a number of ducting parts that are commonly built that are then assembled and modified at the build site. It is kind of like putting together a kid’s construction set. A variety of pieces are provided and then pieced together to make a functioning air flow system. The common ducting shapes include:

  • Straight round pipe
  • Straight oval pipe
  • Half sheet rectangular pipe
  • 90 degree adjustable elbow
  • X, Y and Z connector pieces

Machinery Does the Fabricating Job

Sheet metal, the raw material for rigid ducting, can be cut and shaped by hand, but this is a difficult task. Automated machines do the work of cutting, folding and grooving to create all the different components needed to assemble a new ducting network.

Rectangular metal ducts are built by putting two pieces of bent sheeting together. The flat pieces of metal are first cut to the desired size with a cutting machine or plasma cutter. Then, another machine folds the sharp edges inward. Thirdly, the sheet is shaped into an L or a tube. Most rectangular ducting is made to standard sizes, but the machines can be adjusted to create the ducting in custom sizes.

Round metal duct, also known as spiral pipes, are made with a different process. At the start of the process, the sheet metal is put into a machine that coils it. The machine fuses the edges together to make the pipe air-tight. The pipe is then passed to the next processing step where it is cut to the desired length.

The ductwork in your building is a critical component for the safe and healthy use of the facility. Give us a call today at 408-295-2182 to learn more about the ventilation services that we provide.

What Are the Different Types of Sheet Metal Duct Designs?

Sheet metal is an excellent choice for heating and cooling equipment because it enhances the performance of duct design components. Not only are sheet metal components easy to install, but they also provide energy efficiency, strength, and durability, as they can withstand high temperatures and environmental elements.

Materials Used in Sheet Metal

Galvanized Mild Steel

One of the most popular duct designs for buildings is based on galvanized mild steel with a rust-resistant zinc coating. This design is widely used because it can be easily customized and it provides sufficient protection against air loss, helping lower energy bills. The smooth quality of galvanized steel reduces the airflow compared with other duct materials. It also prevents the growth of mold and fungus.

Aluminum Duct-work

Due to its light weight and resistance to corrosion, aluminum has become a popular choice for duct-work. The material is reliable for both indoor and outdoor use in the following industries:

  • automotive
  • construction
  • printing
  • mining

Major advantages to aluminum are that it’s easy to install and can be easily bent to fit any shape.

Stainless Steel

Providing the same amount of strength as aluminum or galvanized steel, stainless steel is another effective type of sheet metal for budget-conscious building owners. It also resists corrosion and moisture, which is why it’s a top choice among food processing plants and sites with large industrialized construction. Swimming pools also work well with stainless steel applications, which add attractive aesthetics to a facility.

Custom Designs

An experienced fabrication shop has the tools and skills to create custom designs for clients with unique building layouts. Any type of duct can be designed with computer-aided design (CAD) software. The ideal duct system takes into account how much heating and cooling is needed in each room in terms of BTU per hour. You then need to determine the materials, the size of the system and select the right tools.

Like any HVAC equipment, the ducting system must be installed properly to avoid common maintenance problems. Keeping the duct clean and having it inspected by a professional every year are keys to extending its longevity.

Conclusion

Understanding the various types of sheet metal duct designs will help you determine the best solution for your needs. Make sure your design allows air distribution throughout a building while maintaining good air quality and energy efficiency. Call one of our counselors today at 408-295-2182.

Why Professionals Should Help With Your Commercial Ductwork?

Air quality is one of the defining features of a workspace. Fresh, clean, well-filtered air is a necessary part of a positive, peaceful, and ultimately productive work environment; poorly filtered air is unpleasant to breathe and can even lead to health issues. Your building’s ducts play an integral role in maintaining air quality.

When left unattended, they can develop an escalating series of issues: a clogged filter leads to an overworked motor, which eventually gives out and stops filtering air for the entire building. The easiest way to prevent large problems is to address them while they’re still small – and that means the professional handling your duct maintenance needs to notice them.

Commercial Ductwork Needs Professional Care

Ducts aren’t something you can just clean yourself, or assign to regular janitorial staff. An HVAC professional will be able to:

  • Assess the state of your ducts and the maintenance required.
  • Provide timely and necessary repairs.
  • Clean to a level that helps prevent air contamination.
  • Comply with commercial health and safety regulations.

The need for professional attention starts at the installation of your duct system; incorrectly installed units and neglected repairs will eventually lead to more costs and problems for your business. This makes it important that the technician you hire knows their work and cares about your company’s quality of air.

Work done right the first time will result in lower costs for your business, a better environment for your employees, and a duct system that is easier to maintain in the future. After installation, regular maintenance is key to keeping your duct system from developing issues. It can often be more difficult to properly clean mold or dust buildup than it is to prevent them from happening in the first place. A professional maintenance service will change filters, fix leaks, and keep your air clean and breathable.

Commercial ductwork is a cost that your company can’t afford to cut. From installation to maintenance, every step requires attention and expertise. By investing in professional services, you know that your budget is spent efficiently and effectively and that you are getting the quality of air your business deserves.

If your ducts need a professional, give us a call at 408-295-2182. Our team of experts will provide your company with a consistent quality of work that you won’t find anywhere else.