Has it ever occurred to you that perhaps the reason for your high heating costs is that your heating duct is not insulated adequately? Sure, you want your home warm and cozy, but you don’t want your energy bills to soar through the roof, otherwise you may feel it necessary to rely less on your central heating. That does no one any favors.
Efficiency Reduces Emissions
Heating duct insulation is something more home owners are becoming aware of as the world turns up the heat on information about emissions and global warming. Considering that heating ducts usually occupy unconditioned areas such as crawlspaces, garages, attics and non-insulated basements, it makes sense to understand that they require energy themselves in order to run efficiently.
In weather extremes of cold and heat, 10 – 30% of the energy that is used to cool and warm the air is lost due to the temperature found in the surfaces of the ducts. So as to maintain the temperatures at the desired level, the heating equipment must compensate for the loss by conditioning even more air. And therein lies the reason for your larger than expected heating bill. This can be remedied with heating duct insulation.
Your Heating System Needs Heating
You might even find that your heating system doesn’t work as well as you feel it should, and now you have the reason why. While sending heated air throughout your home, the air is being subject to cold air in its travels due to the exposure of the ducts to the cold outside. The longer the duct run, the more the likelihood of unwarmed – or cooled down – air blowing into the room. Heating duct insulation is the logical response to these problems.
The need for heating duct insulation can be negated if the ducts themselves are located within the conditioned area of the house. It would mean that the conductive losses would be minimized because the ducts are actually exposed to the conditioned air as well.
Types of Insulation
Fiberglass is the most common material used to insulate heating ducts. It can be supplied in rigid or flexible form, is available in different thicknesses and densities and comes on rolls that can be simply unrolled for installation around circular and rectangular ducts.
It’s important that for heating duct insulation, foil or vinyl-faced insulation is used on the side that faces the exterior. This is necessary because these types prevent the fiberglass from absorbing any moisture and compromising the effectiveness of the insulation.
It’s often the case with old houses that their heating ducts were not insulated. Greater awareness of this issue in recent times means that when remodeling, heating duct insulation is one of the first upgrades to be undertaken. Sometimes it may seem that the entire heating system may need to be replaced when in fact, just by insulating it, the effectiveness could be improved very noticeably.
Depending on where you live, there are differing grades of insulation that would be required. Your contractor will know and use the correct grade according to your region and according to the requirements for your particular house.
When building a new home, insulating all heating ducts that are in unconditioned areas of the building will guarantee you greater energy efficiency and more efficient warming. The initial cost of installing the insulation will be offset by the reduced energy bills you’ll receive as a result.
photo by pdz_house – CreativeCommons Attribution