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AIR CONDITIONING & HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS
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AIR CONDITIONER COMPONENT PARTS
AIR CONDITIONER TYPES, ENERGY SOURCES
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AIR FILTERS, FIBERGLASS PARTICLES
AIR FLOW MEASUREMENT CFM
APPLIANCE DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR
APPLIANCE EFFICIENCY RATINGS
BLOWER DOORS & AIR INFILTRATION
BLOWER FAN CONTINUOUS OPERATION
BLOWER FAN OPERATION & TESTING
BOOKSTORE - Air Conditioning "How To" Books
CAPACITORS for HARD STARTING MOTORS
CLEANING & Legionella BACTERIA
CHINESE DRYWALL HAZARDS
CONDENSATION or SWEATING PIPES, TANKS
DEFINITION of HEATING & COOLING TERMS
DEW POINT CALCULATION for WALLS
DEW POINT TABLE - CONDENSATION POINT GUIDE
DIAGNOSTIC GUIDES A/C / HEAT PUMP
DIAGNOSE & FIX HEATING PROBLEMS-BOILER
DIAGNOSE & FIX HEATING PROBLEMS-FURNACE
DUCTS - Asbestos
DUCT INSULATION, Asbestos Paper
DUCT INSULATION for SOUNDPROOFING
DUCT SYSTEM & DUCT DEFECTS
DUCT SYSTEM NOISES
DUCTS, Asbestos Transite Pipe
DUST, HVAC CONTAMINATION STUDY
ELECTRIC MOTOR OVERLOAD RESET SWITCH
EVAPORATIVE COOLING SYSTEMS
FAN LIMIT SWITCH
GAS EXPOSURE EFFECTS, TOXIC
GAS DETECTION INSTRUMENTS
HEAT LOSS (or GAIN) in buildings
HEAT LOSS (or GAIN) INDICATORS
HEAT LOSS R U & K VALUE CALCULATION
HEATING SMALL LOADS
INSPECTION CHECKLIST - OUTDOOR UNIT
INSPECTION LIMITATIONS, A/C SYSTEMS
LEED GREEN BUILDING CERTIFICATION
LOST COOLING CAPACITY
LOW VOLTAGE TRANSFORMER TEST
MOTOR OVERLOAD RESET SWITCH
MOLD in AIR HANDLERS & DUCT WORK
OPERATING COST, AIR CONDITIONER
OPERATING DEFECTS, AIR CONDITIONING
REPAIR GUIDES A/C / HEAT PUMP
REPAIR & DIAGNOSTIC FAQs for A/C
THERMOSTATS, HEATING / COOLING
THERMOSTATIC EXPANSION VALVES
WATER COOLED AIR CONDITIONERS
WINDOW / WALL AIR CONDITIONERS
WINDOW / WALL A/C SUPPORTS
This article describes cases of Owens Corning Valueflex™ gray flex duct disintegration as an example of defective heating or cooling ductwork materials such as Goodman gray flex-duct, and some (not all) Owens Corning Flex-duct products. We include references to product failures by manufacturers of similar flexible duct work products.
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Air conditioning duct system defects include a remarkably wide range of errors, from failure to supply cool air or failure to even circulate air in the building, to health hazards such as use of asbestos material in or on duct work, to very dangerous conditions such as drawing heating equipment combustion gases into the building cooling (or heating) air.
This article describes Owens Corning Valueflex™ brand gray flex duct failures that appear as loss of the gray plastic duct covering due to brittleness that appears to be caused by exposure to heat (such as in a hot attic), with references to product failures by several manufacturers of flexible duct work, , including ATCO™ Ruber Products, Alloy Systems™, Goodman™ flex duct, Owens Corning™ flex duct, Owl™ flex duct.
We believe that none of these defective flex duct products is currently sold (2010) but both may be found in older homes. Note: not all Owens Corning flex duct products share this defect and disintegration problem.
The loss of the protective plastic covering on flex duct poses several concerns including loss of the duct insulation, increased air conditioning system operating costs, and possibly air leaks out (if supply ducts are damaged) or un-wanted attic debris leaks in (if return ducts are damaged), and in-duct condensation in the HVAC system leading to mold and indoor air quality concerns.
This generation of Owens Corning™ gray plastic-covered, fiberglass insulated duct material is a defective duct product.
As with the Goodman flex-duct problem described at GOODMAN GRAY FLEXDUCT, in hot attic spaces or where exposed to UV light, the plastic of this Owens Corning flexible air conditioning duct material disintegrates leaving its fiberglass insulation exposed to also disintegrate, leak, or possibly blow into the building living space.
When a flex-duct product has lost its exterior plastic covering the effects are these:
Replacement of the heating or air conditioning flexible sections of duct work is required - a significant expense which will be greater if flex-duct needs to be replaced where it passes through inaccessible areas such as finished walls or ceilings. - Thanks to Mark Cramer for this photo. of Owens Corning gray flex duct disintegrating in a Florida attic.
Notice that not all Owens Corning flex-duct products will fail in this manner and unless you specifically find evidence of this deterioration, replacement of the flex-duct in a building may not be warranted. Where this duct is found in a building it should be replaced.
Below at Technical Reviewers & References we include Flexible Air Duct Installation Manuals, standards, guidelines, and contact information for several flexible air duct manufacturers as well as access to Flexible Duct Performance & Installation Standards provided by the Air Diffusion Council.
List of plastic-covered flexible HVAC duct products that appear to deteriorate in hot spaces like attics
Readers concerned with deteriorating plastic and fiberglass-covered flex duct in buildings should see the duct failure reports listed below.
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Technical Reviewers & References
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