Insulating HVAC Ducts Can Save Big Bucks

If you haven't looked at your HVAC ducts lately, or ever, you may be losing money every time the system comes on. The ductwork connected to the HVAC system carries the heated or cooled air to various parts of the home. However, it the ducts are not insulated, some of the temperature from the air duct escapes through transfer. In fact, the Department of Energy reports that up to 20 percent of air is lost through uninsulated ducts. Preventing this is easily accomplished using the right HVAC insulation material.

Why Energy Transfer Is Bad

In addition to heat escaping from the HVAC ducts, there are other factors that can impact energy loss from your HVAC system. For example, most ducts are located in unfinished areas of the home, primarily the attic, basement and the crawlspace. These areas reach freezing temperatures in winter, and attic temps can reach over 100 degrees in the summer. That is like putting your HVAC ducts into a freezer in the winter and into an oven in the summer. By insulating the ducts, you make them less susceptible to the wide temperature swings of the areas where they are installed.

How Duct Insulation Works

Duct insulation works just like the insulation in your attic. It blocks the transfer of air, whether hot or cold, to the duct. Thus, the air inside the duct stays at virtually the same temperature it was when it came out of your HVAC system. The end result is that your HVAC system doesn’t have to constantly turn on and off, which reduces wear and tear and saves you money too. Additionally, you will notice that your home feels more comfortable because it stays at a more consistent temperature.

Reflective Bubble Insulation Is Best

There are several types of insulation materials that can be used on HVAC ductwork, including insulation sleeves, foil-backed adhesive foam and fiberglass. However , there is another, newer option. Foil bubble wrap insulation is a duct wrap insulation material that has a reflective material on the exterior that helps to deflect heat away from the duct. In addition, it blocks moisture and condensation from getting into the duct, which is critical. The areas where ducts are typically installed are often high in condensation which can enter the ductwork and then the home. Proper installation of foil bubble wrap requires the uses of spacers to create an air gap between the bubble wrap and the actual duct.

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