Duct Insulation and Sealing
Air ducts are an important home system—and quite an extensive one. A network of ducts is hidden in walls and in the attic or under floors of a house. This network carries air from a HVAC unit to rooms of the home. There are also ducts for pulling air from inside the home. (This is where the filter is changed inside the home.) If the HVAC unit is placed inside the home, then there are even more ducts for intake and exhaust. This elaborate system can cost a homeowner more money than necessary when it is poorly insulated and full of gaps that leak air.
What is duct insulation and sealing?
Duct insulation and sealing is a service provided by attic cleaning professionals in which the ducts are inspected, gaps are sealed, and the ducts are wrapped in insulation. The purposes of this service are to minimize conditioned and heated air loss through gaps in duct seams and joints and to minimize unwanted energy loss that happens when conditioned and heated air comes into contact with unconditioned spaces (the attic air) while being blown through ducts. Both the duct sealing and the duct insulating boost energy efficiency in a home and create savings for the homeowner.
The process of duct sealing is straightforward, but it can be a tricky project since ducts are kept out of living spaces. It is best to have a professional seal air ducts to ensure that all gaps are sealed—and sealed properly for years to come. A professional will know which sealants best adhere to your duct material for optimal performance. For example, duct mastic is a popular material used to seal duct seams and corner joints, but it only works for small gaps. Gaps over a certain size (about a quarter of an inch) must first be bridged with an appropriate material before trying to apply duct mastic.
Another example is adhesive tapes. A cheap duct tape that is not heat resistant will break down and fail when the home’s heater is used. A professional will know which materials are best used for heating ducts.
So, while some sealing can be a DIY project, it is best to leave duct sealing to the professionals. They know what to look for, what materials to use for sealing, and how sealing may affect the surrounding attic environment.
The process of duct insulation is straightforward as well: ducts are wrapped in insulation. Simple. Again, it is simple, but since ducts may be difficult to reach, it can be best to let the professionals insulate the ducts after they seal them. A professional may be able to save you the cost of some parts by knowing which ducts do not need insulation. For example, an exhaust duct may be sealed to prevent exhaust air from leaking into your attic, but it does not need to be insulated if it just vents to the outsides.
There are a couple methods for insulating air ducts. Fiberglass can be wrapped around the duct and secured in place. This is an older method, and it will get the job done; however, form-fitting insulation wraps are available that fit around the duct like pipe insulators. During a home inspection and audit, a professional will discuss insulation methods, materials, and costs so that the right service can be chosen.
Home Audit for Duct Insulation and Sealing
A visual inspection will be carried out by a professional. He or she will look for visible gaps in duct seams and joints as well as condensation on uninsulated ducts. A return air test can also be performed by closing doors and windows and running the HVAC unit. One by one, room doors can be cracked to see if they are pulled open or closed. Having the door pulled by the HVAC unit signals restricted flow, which will be taken into account by the professional working on your duct system.
Contact us and schedule your home audit and duct inspection today. A sealed, insulated, and efficient duct system will save you both energy and money in the long run, so you why wait? You have nothing to lose and a lot to gain!