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Making Exposed Ductwork a Feature of Your Retail Space

15 December 2020

Ductwork has been a vital part of commercial buildings, particularly those that are intended for retail. This component is comprised of multiple conduits or passages that work effectively with heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) units. With the combination of these elements, retail space can easily obtain a fresh and well-ventilated environment.

While some establishments can effectively hide ducts and other related components, others do not have the option to do so. Hence, they would just make the ductwork part of their overall fitout design. Keep in mind, though, that poorly designed ductwork can bring numerous consequences and issues to the place.

Problems with Poorly Designed Ductwork

A ductwork can be deemed as poorly designed if it has the following characteristics. First, it has undersized conduits that cannot sustain the load requirements of the space and the type of HVAC units. Second, a ductwork is designed poorly if it runs too long. HVAC units cannot transfer and move air if their connected conduits are too long. The presence of both sharp bends and air leaks also makes the ductwork ineffective in the long run, which then affects the overall performance of the retail space.

With these characteristics, one can expect their retail space to obtain numerous issues and problems. Due to the impeded airflow, some parts of the retail space might obtain hot and cold spots. The HVAC units, particularly the air conditioners, may deteriorate and wear much faster than their optimal lifespan. Employees and customers who are inside the retail space may likewise be exposed to dust, pollutants, and fumes, deeming it harmful for their overall health.

Making Ductwork Practical and Attractive

If your retail space does not have any spaces to hide the ductwork, then you may want to embrace its appearance and integrate it with your overall aesthetic. In designing practical yet attractive ductwork, you may want to consider the following tips.

  • Assess the Best Location: Having your ductwork exposed does not mean that you can put its parts wherever you want. The conduits and other components of the ductwork must still be placed on places that can minimise the loss of conditioned air. They must also be installed on places that are close to HVAC units. If possible, you must install them in internal walls and ceilings.
  • Maximise the Right Materials: To ensure that your ductwork can last for a long time, you must opt for ductwork components, fittings, and supports that are made from durable materials. Metal sheets are known to be the best material for ductwork elements, given that they are strong, durable, and have an attractive appearance. Reinforced plastic can likewise be used if you want to save some money.
  • Maintain Ductwork Sealing: Exposed ductwork allows you to easily assess and check the condition of your ductwork components. So, in case of any leaks, you must promptly apply some sealing to maintain its effectiveness in moving air between HVAC units and the retail space. Other visible damages must also be resolved immediately to avoid spending more money on unnecessary repairs.

To help you make your exposed ductwork a great feature for your retail space, feel free to contact us at Redrock Contracting.


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