Low Profile Ductwork for Basement and Attics: Complete Guide

Low Profile Ductwork for Basement and Attics

Ductwork is an essential component to ensure optimum performance of the HVAC equipment at home or even for commercial purposes. Despite its vital advantages, people generally do not like ductwork because of its size and presumably odd structure for some homeowners.

This article will discuss low-profile ductwork options for the basement and attics to address the dilemma. You will also learn the advantages and disadvantages of trying DIY for ductwork installation.

Let’s start with a brief introduction to ductwork and its functioning.

Ductwork Explained

A ductwork system is designed to circulate airflow from the HVAC equipment to the entire house or property. This includes air absorbed from the entire property into the AC or heater. The air gets heated or cooled and pushed back into the home or commercial space through ducts.

Ductwork determines the proper flow of the air during intake and output. If it is not designed or installed in the right way, the balance of the HVAC system and air pressure will be off.

You will feel an uncomfortable indoor atmosphere with bad climate control and inefficient heating & cooling cycle if it happens.

There are multiple choices when it comes to ductwork. You can choose oval, rectangular, or round shapes made of plastics, fiberglass, and other materials.

Ductwork for commercial and residential purposes falls into two categories.

Flexible ductwork

Flexible ductwork is easy to install in tight spaces. These are affordable but come with the risk of getting punctured and restricted airflow. These are thin steel wiring, covered with a pre-insulated fiberglass layer.

Rigid ductwork

Rigid ductwork is preferable for its durability and safe from the risk of getting punctured. These are made of galvanized steel or aluminum, available in rectangular and round shapes. These are comparatively costlier.

After briefly introducing ductwork, shapes, materials, and types, let us explain low-profile ductwork and installation in the second half of the article here.

Low-Profile Ductwork

Low-profile ductwork is an excellent alternative if you are uncomfortable with hanger straps, installing ductwork in the living area, or not having enough space.

Low-profile ductwork is a step down from brands that custom design ductwork for residential projects and commercial properties based on the cost. These are affordable, not cheap, alternatives. It means you do not have to compromise on quality and performance.

You can find components for low-profile ductwork such as air returns, plenums, and stack ducts at big hardware companies. The option and range of products narrow down according to sizes, shapes, and specific material you require.

You will get distribution lines and trunk lines from a local HVAC supplier. While shopping for low-profile ductwork, you should look for thin, rigid lines that work within walls and are broader than traditional rigid metal ductwork.

Installation: DIY or HVAC Professional

If you plan to hire a technician for low-profile ductwork installation, they will source all the components and charge the installation price. They are trained and experienced in installing different types and sizes of ductwork.

If you plan to DIY, you need to know a couple of things to get started and install low-profile ductwork correctly.

Things To Consider And Tools To Have For DIY

If you are going to replace a duct and place low-profile ductwork, accessibility is the primary thing to consider. 

  • Ducts in the attic and basement are low on space, and that might be a problem while replacing the existing duct
  • Tools require for DIY include leather gloves, safety goggles, pliers, sealants for ducts, duct hangers, drive couplers, etc. You will also need to buy bend or 3-ways ducts according to the space and direction of the ductwork.

Professional Low Profile Ductwork Installation & Cost

It is highly advisable to consult a professional to install ductwork. It will minimize the chances of common errors of DIY, and work will complete faster. An HVAC expert will manage all the details and explain the procedure and time.

Price everything. You should take quotations from a couple of good contractors and finalize the best one. The source varies according to the residence, space for the installation, and many more factors.

The average price per linear foot ranges between $5 and $10. Before finalizing the contractor, read online reviews, customer experiences, and social media presence.

The best way to understand their quality of services is to go through customer reviews and comments on their social media handles. These are more transparent and no-filter feedback that will help you make the right decision.


Low-profile ductwork is an apt alternative if you plan to remodel the basement or do not have proper space in the attic for ductwork. You can also consider this to replace the old duct. We have explained the DIY method and professional installation option.

If you are confident enough with the right knowledge and appropriate tools, install it yourself. However, it is highly advisable to consult a certified HVAC expert to install for minimum errors and quicker project completion.

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