The Pros and Cons of Different HVAC Piping Materials

Not many people think about pipes in connection to their HVAC systems. However, the main factor which determines the efficiency of an HVAC system is the quality of the piping and the ductwork which supports it. The AC transports hot and cold water via pipes, keeping all parts of the home as warm or as cool as needed. Similarly, the furnace uses the same pipes to transport water, natural gas and oil. When there is a weakness in these pipes, the efficiency of the entire HVAC system fails. Also, when the pipes are broken or worn-out, they can end up with leakages which will cause domestic fires and other damages to the home. Here are three guidelines which can help you choose and install the best HVAC piping materials. 

Metal Piping

The two main metals used to make HVAC pipes are copper and steel. Generally, the copper pipes are used for smaller purposes such as transporting water to the air conditioner unit. On the other hand, steel is used for the larger pieces of piping. This is because it is cheaper and is therefore economically sound to use to cover large areas. Whether you use copper or steel, the most important thing to remember is that all pieces which touch the ground need cathode protection to stop them from getting corroded.

Plastic Piping

The second most popular material in HVAC piping is plastic. It is cheaper than copper and steel, but it cannot withstand the same amount of pressure that the metals do. If you choose plastic, you need to have realistic expectations about it, and most of the time, it will need replacement within the decade. Plastic is, however, ideal for the underground pipes because it does not corrode at all.

The Cost of the Material

The cost of the piping material is the factor most people consider when choosing one. When you are factoring in the cost, you have to compare it with the expected lifespan of the material. Also, look at the efficiency of the material and the level of safety that you are assured of once it is installed inside your house.

Choosing HVAC piping can be challenging. If you are not sure about the best thickness specifications, you might end up with inferior-quality piping. If you are not sure about the specifications, consider getting a professional HVAC expert to guide you through the purchase and installation.