The heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system in your home or business is an intricate system of ductwork. The system is responsible for evenly distributing heat or air conditioning to every room in the most efficient way possible. More likely than not, your existing ductwork is made from sheet metal, fabricated specifically for the system it works with and the structure it’s in.
Many homeowners or business owners might find themselves asking, what is sheet metal and why does it matter? Sheet metal covers a range of materials and has uses in multiple industries like aerospace, construction, and HVAC. In the HVAC industry, sheet metal is the most common material used for ductwork and HVAC systems, beating out other materials like polyurethane and fiberglass.
What is Sheet Metal?
Sheet metal is an all-encompassing term for a thin sheet of a metallic material that, through fabrication, will become a product or structure. Sheet metal can be made of:
Each type of metal is used for different products and purposes based on their resistance to heat, durability, and strength. When looking at HVAC systems, most ductwork, systems, and parts are made from either galvanized steel or aluminum.
Sheet Metal Fabrication
Sheet metal fabrication is the process by which fab shops turn the metal sheets into a product or structure. Fabrication can be as simple as creating a small tray to an entire ductwork system for a building. Fab shops may create an item from simple cutting and bending or use CAD drawings and CNC machines to create complex designs.
Sheet metal fabrication has three main processes: forming, cutting and joining. The fabrication process used will depend on the desired end product of the customer.
In forming jobs, sheets of metal are transformed into the desired shape by stamping, bending, roll forming, or stretching. In cutting jobs, the metal is actually cut to create the desired shape and is done so by blanking, shearing, cutting, laser cutting, waterjet cutting, machining, or by plasma. Lastly, in joining the end product is created by welding, the use of adhesives, brazing, or riveting.
HVAC Sheet Metal Fabrication
HVAC sheet metal fabrication is the process that an HVAC contractor goes through to create unique systems for a home or building. By using the fabrication types listed above, HVAC companies can create solutions like rectangular ductwork, spiral ductwork, fittings, roof curbs, and roof curb adapters.
HVAC sheet metal work allows for customization to the customers’ desired look and feel of their ductwork. If being installed in a commercial property, ductwork can be painted to match the building designs or hidden completely. In homes, ductwork like sheet metal air conditioning ducts can be made from lighter materials like aluminum, which is a more expensive option. However, galvanized is the preferred material type.
Why Your HVAC Needs It
The comfort inside your home or business, whether during cold winters or warm summers, relies heavily on the sheet metal air ducts in the HVAC system. It’s important to work with your HVAC contractor to ensure your system is working at peak performance. There are a number of reasons why your HVAC system needs sheet metal fabrication.
It Saves You Money
In the short term, a custom-designed and built sheet metal ductwork system provides a tight fit that’s resistant to leaks meaning efficient airflow and decreased energy usage. Inefficient and leaking systems allow for high energy bills while wasting energy.
In the long term, the ductwork is durable and resistant to damage like water and rust. Plus, your HVAC contractor can easily fabricate parts and pieces when you need to service or upgrade your system, eliminating costly repairs. Custom sheet metal fabrication reduces the likelihood of systems breaking down before they’ve met their anticipated lifecycle.
It Fits Your Project
Whether you’re building a new structure, adding an addition, or remodeling, sheet metal fabrication will allow for a completely custom HVAC system. The use of computers and machines means that the pieces are designed, cut, and shaped exactly to the specifications of your project, eliminating waste and reducing errors. This lends to the efficient systems that save money.
Sheet metal fabrication also allows your HVAC contractor to seamlessly match your existing ductwork when building an addition or remodeling. Because sheet metal fabrication can use a number of metallic mediums, the contractor can select the best material to match the new system components so that air flows efficiently.
It Provides Quality Control
When you work with an HVAC contractor for your ductwork sheet metal needs, you’re adding a layer of quality control to the system in your home or building. When there are issues with ductwork or the HVAC system, the contractor can help to fix the issue. They can help fabricate new pieces of ductwork, new parts to fix or enhance your system, and troubleshoot any issues you may experience.
Sheet Metal Solutions for HVAC
We provide both residential and commercial solutions to meet your HVAC needs for both pre-existing and new structures. Our products include:
- Rectangular ductwork – dual-wall ductwork, insulated ductwork, and grease ductwork
- Spiral ductwork – 4″ – 48″ inch sizing; dual-wall ductwork, couplings or angle rings, insulated and non-insulated options, and custom cap placement
- Fittings – 45 degrees, 90 degrees, round, rectangular, elbows, transitions, square-to-round, offsets, and with or without vanes
- Roof Curbs & Roof Curb Adaptors – completely customizable, insulated or non-insulated, structurally reinforced, standing seam or pitched roofs, and supply and return divisions
Let Us Help!
Our team of professionals has years of experience in the HVAC sheet metal fabrication arena serving both commercial and residential clients. We’ll answer your questions around what is sheet metal Whether building an entirely new structure, renovating, adding an addition, or in need of repairs, we can help create a seamless end product. Call us today to discuss your project!