PVC: Pros and Cons


PVC is hailed as a wonder substance, and in many ways it is. However , the uses are not endless. PVC has limits, especially in HVAC applications. PVC sometimes makes sense for heating and cooling — other times, it doesn’t. Prior to deciding which material works best to your building or installation project, look at how you want your system to perform, just what expenses you are willing to pay up front, and the factors that could potentially reduce upgrades down the line.

A Look At The Pros

Below are several pros and cons of PVC that can help you select whether it is the material for your heating and cooling job.


PVC is durable in addition to usable for a variety of purposes. In many cases, their sturdiness makes installation much easier. You can use it in a wide range of environments, whether inside ceilings, walls, or floors. Nevertheless , the difference in weight can be an concern (more on that in the cons).

Corrosion Resistance

Corrosion can be an issue in just about any setting, but more so in a industrial building where fumes, gases, or perhaps exhaust can put a heating and cooling system at risk of becoming damaged after some time. PVC is considered a good option for minimizing the risk and is often used to conform to mandated safety regulations. In properties, PVC ductwork can allow a cooling and heating system to run beneath the house without becoming corroded by moisture or even radon. Over time, metal ductwork with corrosion will need to be replaced. Ultimately, you could reduce costs with PVC ductwork.

Variety Of Use

PVC comes in handy if a builder likes to design a home with heating and cooling under the floor rather than in the roof. It is especially useful if the home will not have a crawlspace that would help to make space for metal ductwork. For the houses that are built on a concrete piece, PVC ductwork is a preferable strategy to being placed directly beneath the floor. And as mentioned above, PVC material defends against moisture-related corrosion that can take place at the floor level.


One of many key reasons that PVC is utilized for heating and cooling is that the material is better at insulating than metals — which are conductors that do not keep heat well. As hot plus cold air makes its way through thin mill steel, it is dispersed, resulting in a heating and cooling system that isn’t as efficient as PVC. When metal ductwork is generally fine with regard to smaller buildings, PVC is often favored in larger buildings, where warmth and cool air need to travel further through the ducts.

A Look at the Cons

Heat Limits

While PVC enables you to carry cooled air and cold water all day long, there are maximum temperature scores for the material. The greatest temperature for PVC is 140°F. This could limit some heating applications if temperatures are expected to be next to or above this range.


In general, PVC is more expensive to be able to manufacture. The cost difference is not massive, so for smaller buildings, the bigger price can be negligible. For much larger buildings, though, the costs can add upwards. While the front-end costs for PVC can be higher, it is worth writing that PVC potentially can save funds over time once maintenance and power efficiency are factored in.

Gross Weight

Material ductwork is very thin and lightweight. In contrast, PVC can weigh twice as much when made into similar structures. From your building and design perspective, this is often limiting. It also can complicate unit installation.

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