Photograph of  heat damaged Owens Corning gray fiberglass-insulated air conditioning duct work in a Florida attic - thanks to Mark Cramer Owens Corning Fiberglass Valueflex™ Gray Flex Duct Deterioration & Failures
     


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Owens-Corning fiberglass insulated gray flex-duct failures:

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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OWENS CORNING FLEX DUCT - Deterioration

Photograph of  heat damaged Owens Corning gray fiberglass-insulated air conditioning duct work in a Florida attic - thanks to Mark CramerAir 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:

  1. The cost of heating or cooling the building is increased due to lost insulation: because the ducts are no longer insulated from the ambient temperature in the attic or crawl space where they are located. For example, an air conditioning duct passing through a hot attic and missing its insulation will be heated by the ambient attic air, delivering warmer air to the living space than is desired.

  2. The cost of heating or cooling the building is increased due to leaks: because damaged ducts are more likely to leak, cooled or warmed air intended for the occupied space may be lost in the attic or crawl space where the damaged HVAC ducts are located.

    In addition we might see these two indirect problems developing:

  3. Increased circulation of fiberglass particles from the duct insulation or from building insulation which may be picked up and blown into the building air supply

  4. Mold growth in the HVAC ducts due to loss of insulation and increased in-duct condensation in some circumstances. See Flexduct Lawsuitat our references below.

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.


Continue reading at GRAY FLEXDUCT FAILURES or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.

Or see DUCT ROUTING & SUPPORT

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OWENS CORNING FLEXDUCT at InspectApedia.com - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.

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