Ductwork is the road network for air to flow around your building. Hot and cold air transits through supply ducts to circulate around your indoor areas and expended air returns to be filtered and redistributed. This transit network is a significant part of the HVAC system, requiring a large initial investment. Thankfully, it should last 15-25 years with regular maintenance.
However, damage can reduce this lifespan.
Hazardous areas and wet weather can eventually corrode your metal ductwork.
Similarly, steam and other vapours from production processes can permeate insulation. Once the damp gets into the insulation, it’s unlikely that anyone can spot it until there are holes in the ductwork.
Often, ducting is located outside, where it’s susceptible to temperature fluctuations through the year. This can cause two problems. Over time, the metal flexes and creates weak points which will eventually become brittle and break.
In the UK we can talk about weather all day – and you should bring it into your HVAC conversations! The UK’s hottest day on record was 38.7˚C (101.7˚F) in Cambridge in July 2019, and the lowest was -27.2˚C (-17˚F) in Altnaharra in Scotland in December 1995.
As well as flexing, the external temperature around the ductwork can cause condensation build up. This happens when the warm air inside the ducting meets with a cold surface. Once condensation occurs, it’s likely that mould won’t be far behind.
KlasseFOIL uses a cold-weather sensitive glue, giving you long lasting protection regardless of the weather. Even if your ductwork is inside, you should be mindful of temperature changes in the building and the effect it has on your HVAC system.
The nemesis of any Facilities Management team!
Rooftops warmed by ducting are inviting homes for rats and insects.
Unfortunately, as well as being a network for airflow, rats and insects can see your ductwork as their own roadmap through your office. They chew their way in but will normally target areas that aren’t sealed correctly.
Keep up a regular pest control routine and make sure that you check the sealing of all the ductwork, especially the joints where sealing can be trickier.
We all love our operations and maintenance colleagues, but occasionally, in an effort to fix equipment quickly, our teammates will see our ductwork as a convenient place to stand. Whilst HVAC engineers put a lot of effort into designing the ductwork, it unfortunately rarely stands up to the weight of a person.
Our KlasseCLAD products come in white, black or silver. You can choose to have them blend into the background or stand out.
Suitable signage and training is also recommended as this isn’t safe practice.
Over time, dust, dirt and other contaminants build up within the ductwork. Without regular cleaning, this can build up within the system.
There are two problems with this:
- It circulates contaminated air around your building
- It can damage your ductwork from the inside out
It’s important to get the ductwork cleaned regularly by professionals. Even demineralised water can contain contaminants that build up over time.
Mould & UV Damage to Insulation
KlasseCLAD is UV resistant and easy to cut and install, making it easy to protect your infrastructure.
Mould and UV can damage the cladding and insulation. The rough surface of some insulation can cause debris and organic particles to build up. This, along with a warm and damp atmosphere, can be a perfect breeding ground for mould.
Similarly, if it’s left unprotected, UV light will damage insulation and reduce its efficiency.
The insulation of your ductwork is critical to improve energy efficiency and protect nearby workers and passers by from touching hot surfaces.
If ductwork are the roads for flow of air, then damage is the M25’s bank holiday traffic. Any leakage will make the system work harder, which is inefficient both on the mechanical elements of the HVAC system and on the cost of running it.
Klasse’s range of products resistant to UV, moisture, vapour and extreme environmental conditions give your ducting the best chance of longevity.
Protect your ductwork from damage with Klasse Insulation products.