Insulate and Seal Your Ductwork With These Essential Tips
Because of Delaware’s snowy winters and warm summers, the improvements you make to your HVAC system will likely pay off year-round. Just seal your ductwork and add some insulation, and you’ll give your system an efficiency boost that will result in greater comfort and lower energy bills.
Stop Those Air Leaks
You’ll want to seal ductwork if it runs through any unconditioned spaces in your home, such as the attic, crawlspace or basement. Due to incorrect installation or aging, duct joints can work loose and seals can break, allowing air to escape. Duct air leaks not only waste heated and cooled air, but they also contribute to moisture problems and poor air quality. First, make sure duct joints and elbows fit tightly. Then, seal the joints by spreading a nickle-thick layer of mastic sealant over the whole joint. If there are larger gaps the mastic can’t cover, you may need to apply fiberglass mesh tape first.
Choose the Right Insulation
Insulating ducts in unconditioned spaces minimizes the amount of energy wasted due to heat loss or gain. You have several options for duct insulation. For safety, only choose products designed for HVAC ducts.
- Batt insulation – For an affordable solution, foil-backed fiberglass or cotton batt insulation can be cut to size, fit around your ducts and taped into place.
- Foil-backed self-adhesive foam – This type works especially well for irregularly shaped ducts. Simply wrap it around the ducts and press it into place.
- Duct insulation sleeves – To install these pre-measured sleeves, cut along the length of the sleeves and fit them around your ducts. Some come with adhesive strips to help hold the sleeves in place.
- Foil-backed bubble wrap – Higher-quality brands provide the basic minimum level of insulation and are easy to use on irregularly shaped ductwork. The downside is that spacers must be used to prevent insulation from directly touching the ducts.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues – especially HVAC and plumbing issues – so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.
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