Cooling or heating your home in the Asheville area can be expensive enough even if your home is relatively efficient, but if your air ducts are not sealed and insulated properly, you could be wasting up to 40 percent of your cooling and heating energy, increasing utility bills and adding to wear and tear on your HVAC system by forcing it to work harder than it needs to.
Benefits of Duct Sealing and Insulation
Duct sealing and insulation, especially for air ducts running through unconditioned spaces like the attic, can reduce your utility bills significantly. Beyond saving energy and money, sealing your air ducts can prevent dust, pollen and other potential allergens from entering the system through leaking return ducts, degrading your indoor air quality and potentially causing breathing difficulties for those with asthma or allergies. In addition, leaking return ducts can allow combustion gases, such as potentially deadly carbon monoxide, which are leaking from furnaces, stoves and water heaters, to enter the system and be distributed to each room, possibly creating a dangerous situation.
Duct Sealing and Insulation Tips
- Inspect your air ducts for loose joints, holes and insulation that is missing or damaged. Secure loose connections with the proper clamps for flexible ducts and with screws for rigid ducts.
- Seal the joints between duct sections and any small holes with mastic or foil tape. Do not use duct tape.
- To seal larger holes, use a combination of mastic over fiberglass mesh or heat-approved tape, such as butyl or metal-foil tape.
- Surround each air duct, especially in unconditioned spaces, with duct insulation or fiberglass batts with at least an R-6 rating.
- Wrap the insulation with duct tape at several points to support and seal the seams and install a vapor barrier on the outside of cooling ducts.
- Straighten any lengths of flexible duct that are kinked, pinched or flattened.
If you’re not comfortable tackling the task on your own, or you’re worried about the ducts you can’t see, contact a professional HVAC company for duct sealing and cleaning service.
Should you have questions about duct sealing and insulation, just contact our team at Gentry Heating, Inc. for information today. We proudly serve Asheville and the surrounding areas.
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