Let’s deal with the question in the title first, rather than leaving it to the end. There is a trend right now for exposed duct work – an industrial look that works very well in certain situations – so ducts are becoming more visible in many homes. In most domestic settings these essential ducts are hidden, and they go about their job without us noticing. In the case of exposed ducts, the answer to the question is this: there is no reason why you should not paint the exterior of your air ducts.
We’ll go on to explain why you should NEVER consider painting even a small part of the inside of the ducts, but first, a bit more about ducts, what they do, and why they are important.
What is an Air Ducts Job?
If you want to read some interesting information, check out this link with air duct maintenance expert Mike Whitley who keeps things simple and to the point. So, what does a domestic air duct do? It’s a good question! Like our plumbing and electrical systems, we tend to take air ducts for granted, simply because we cannot usually see them. Now that the industrial look is ‘in’ much more is being made of ducts.
In the home, your air ducts are a series of pipes that run through the home taking air to and from the air conditioning and heating systems. These ducts are a prescribed diameter to handle the amount of air that needs to be moved in a given time. The ducts may form part of a quite complex A/C system that serves every room, or you may have just a single duct if you have a smaller and more portable unit.
Whatever the case – and with exposed ducts, there tend to be quite a few – you may want to paint them to either match the surroundings or contrast. This trend is becoming popular in bars, restaurants, cafes, and clubs that now inhabit what was once industrial or commercial premises, and it can be a great look.
So, back to your air ducts, and paint them. We’ve already answered the question briefly, but let’s go into more detail.
Is Painting Air Ducts Recommended?
As we have said above there is no reason why you cannot paint the exterior of the air ducts. What you do need to know is that there are different materials used in air duct construction, and they may require different types of paint.
Much modern ductwork uses plastic materials. These can be more difficult to paint, but there are special paints to use on such ducts. However, exposed ductwork is more likely to be metal – usually galvanized steel. Now the fact is that this sort of duct looks great as it is. Clean it up, give it a polish, and you have a look that is as trendy as it gets. But many people decide to paint their ducts in a bright and bold color. This is also a great effect, especially when you are contrasting with a perhaps darker interior.
Colored ducts can add something special to a room. However, the important question is this: do you paint your ducts yourself – go down the DIY path – or do you get the professionals in to do the job for you?
We recommend you consider hiring someone to get the best results, and there are other reasons why this may be the right approach. First, they are professionals and will know which paint to use, which method is best, and will be committed to health and safety. Ducts on the ceiling, for example, require a ladder or harness to reach, and that involves potential risk. Second, you will get a more impressive result and they may not cost as much as you believe.
So, yes, you can paint the exterior of your ducts. We strongly recommend that before you do, you have an expert check them for damage – cracks or poor fittings and seals, for example – and have any repairs carried out that need to be done. This way you are sure to have perfectly good-looking ducts when the job is done. So, we mentioned painting the inside, which begs the question: why would anyone want to?
Never Let Paint Get Inside the Ducts
The likelihood of anyone wanting to paint inside ducts is slim, although some people have chosen to paint just the first few inches where the entrance is exposed. There are many reasons why you should not do this. One is that the ducts are a specified dimension and even a thin layer of paint will affect the flow. This is why ducts need cleaning regularly, as a build-up of debris in the duct also limits air flow.
Another reason is that paint when dried will eventually flake, especially when constantly under a flow of air. These flakes can contain particles of substances that you do not want to inhale, hence painting inside is dangerous. Put simply, just don’t do it; it’s not worth it, and it’s bad for your health!
Should I Paint My Ducts?
The answer to this will differ for every individual. Whether you are a homeowner looking for the trendy industrial look or a business owner who wants something different in their premises, you can certainly paint your ducts or get them painted for you. With plastic ducts this is probably something you are likely to do. With metal, it may be that you want to leave the bare look that you already have. It’s your choice, and we recommend that you check out examples of painted ducts for ideas.
As a final word, we can’t stress how important it is to have your ducts checked, inspected, and cleaned before you start painting or get the professionals in. You need them in the best condition, especially if your ducts are in premises where the public will be welcomed. We hope we’ve helped you make your decision, so check out the industrial look now and see if it’s for you.