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hurple 05-31-2009 02:21 PM

Clay pipes for AC ducts?
Hi there,

I know that this is an odd thought. I have an unusual house, it was an old mechanics garage built in 1934 and now we live in it. You can see it here: if you are interested. Anyway, much of the house requires exposed ducting for A.C. (heat is in-slab radiant) and I don't really like any of the standard duct options from an aesthetics point of view. As you can see if you check out the blog design is very important to me. I was thinking about using clay pipes as ducts for the AC. Clearly there are drawbacks compared to metal for a regular situation (namely weight and extra time) but my structure can easily handle the weight and I would be doing all the duct work myself and I don't mind some extra work. Does anyone see any problems that clay ducts might cause? I would think condensation would not be a problem. Would the ducts themselves have to cool down leading to an inefficient system?

It sure would look pretty but obviously function is most important.

Thanks you so much for any insight or thoughts.


Bigfoot 05-31-2009 02:43 PM

I'm looking at the crib and thinking fire breaks. Most standard sized ducting has the option (some places it's code) to install a spring loaded flap with a fuse (burn through type) that segregates the rooms (ducting) if there is a fire. Just a thought, clay may not have the proper size, custom bits and pieces may or may not meet code.
Have you thought about the duct work being covered in wood and made to look like beams?
I've also seen some good looking copper or brass work. A little pricey, but if you have it, why not flaunt it a little.

hurple 05-31-2009 02:58 PM

Thanks Bigfoot
Thanks Bigfoot,

I appreciate your thoughts on the subject. I don't think that fire breaks will be an issue as the clay would only be used on the exposed areas (maybe that doesn't matter, I will have to check code). Copper and brass would be beautiful but sadly I have little to flaunt but my own time.

beenthere 05-31-2009 04:47 PM

Spiral would be your best option.
You can get regular spiral, or insulated piral.
Its paitable. And owuld fit in with your dedor.

Clay would be a poor choice. It would tend to warm up the air befoe it blew out for a while, and probably cause even temp issues.

C44 05-31-2009 08:05 PM

Would not the lack of insulation present a problem? A bare duct will sometimes cool to a degree that condensation will occur. Indoor rain. In my climate it would do that constantly.

beenthere 05-31-2009 08:20 PM

Not when the return is as high as the spiral also.

The supply won't drop below dew point.

If the return is below, then you use insulated spiral.

Its insulated the same way as B vent is.

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