Energy efficiency is the order of the day at the moment. With governments from all over the world actively promoting energy efficiency because it is good for the environment, it is easy to see why there are active benefits for the homeowner as well. If air conditioning and heating ducts are losing energy whilst it is in transit then you are losing that energy before it actually hats or cools your house. Where does that energy go?
You cannot benefit from it in any way but you will have to pay for it none the less. It shows up on your heating bill like a leech and costs you hundreds of dollars over the course of a year so it is time to do something about it and insulate the ducts that it escapes from sooner rather than later!
What Are Ducts?
The ducts that you will need to insulate are pipes that are often located in the basement and attics of building and also in the crawlspace of your home, if you have any. They are often large cylindrical pipes but may appear as much smaller pipes in a domestic setting. As such, they will be giving off heat and this makes them easy to identify.
Be Energy Efficient But Put Safety First
When you come to insulate the ducts in your home you will need safety equipment, including safety gloves and goggles (just in case), kneepads and protective but loose clothing. You will obviously need the material to insulate the ducts as well but it is important that you take are of your own safety first because, whilst this should be a simple job, it can also be extremely dangerous because you have the heat to contend with.
In terms of working materials, you will need duct tape, a knife, a powerful flashlight, duct mastic sealant and a paint brush, a staple gun, and the insulating material, which if often made of fibreglass.
How To Insulate Ducts
1. Your first job should be making sure that there are no leaks along the piping when insulating ducts. Make sure that the piping is entirely sealed. If there are any weak points then they will be obvious because air will often be escaping. You should brush the mastic onto any weak points and all of the joints before beginning to insulate. Leave the mastic for 24 hours so it is completely dry and then double check all of the points again to make sure it has taken.
2. Follow the ducts along the crawlspace or basement/attic space and cover it completely in duct insulation material. Secure this with the duct tape. Always remember that the foil surface has to be on the outside in order to keep heat from escaping whilst the material faces inwards.
3. Once the jacket is secure then staple the two ends together. Duct tape should not be used as a permanent attachment because it will rot over the years, but it can be used to hold it in place temporarily. Be sure to staple the seams of the material when one sections joins another along the length of the pipe work too to prevent loss of heat there. When it is all secure then you can sit back, safe in the knowledge that you work is done and your heating bills will be lower.