If your ductwork is leaking, up to 30 percent of the conditioned air pumped out by your HVAC system may be escaping. Having the ducts sealed with HVAC tape can stop this needless waste, so you save energy. Here’s a guide that can help you get familiar with this kind of tape and how it should be used.
HVAC and Duct Tape Are Not Interchangeable
You might believe you’re knowledgeable about “duct tape”, but the tape that seals ductwork is entirely different. Despite the misleading name, duct tape won’t stand up to high or extreme temperature conditions that can exist in your duct system, since it delivers heated and cooled air and can be situated outside your home’s conditioned envelope. HVAC tape is designed for exactly these conditions, which makes it ideal for sealing ductwork.
HVAC Tape’s Special Characteristics
An experienced HVAC professional understand the importance of using UL-rated tapes for duct sealing. These products are code-compliant, and have met strict standards to ensure they have the necessary adhesion abilities and shear/tensile strength to stop leaks and remain in place long term. They’ve also passed tests for flame, temperature, leak, static load, mold, and humidity resistance. There are two UL-rated types:
- UL A-P tapes to seal rigid ducts and ductboard. They’re usually made from either aluminum or an aluminum-alloy foil, with the adhesive protected by a release liner.
- UL B-FX tapes work well for sealing flexible ducts, and may be made of foil, cloth or film.
Tape Installation Best Practices
A knowledgeable HVAC contractor will know the best type of tape for your ductwork, and the necessary steps to install it properly, which include:
- Cleaning the application sites to remove any soot, dirt and oil so adhesion isn’t compromised.
- Applying the tape with care to make sure there are no wrinkles, and it conforms tightly to the duct’s shape.
- Wiping the tape firmly with a squeegee to ensure proper adhesion and the formation of a long-lasting bond.
To learn if installing HVAC tape on your San Antonio home’s ductwork can help lower your energy bills, contact us at Beyer Boys.