Sealing your ductwork is a great idea, but be sure you choose the right materials for the job, whether you try to do it yourself or hire a contractor to do the work for you. The cloth-backed “duct tape” that you can buy at your local hardware store is not designed for sealing ducts and will fail quickly under extreme temperature conditions. Mastic sealant or some specialized “tapes” designed for ductwork are much more effective.
Mastic sealant is the best choice for sealing your ductwork in most cases. It is a non-hardening paste that can be applied with a brush or your fingers (wear gloves if applying mastic with your fingers) or with a caulking gun. It is important that ductwork joints be secured mechanically with sheet metal screws before you apply the mastic sealant, since the sealant does not strengthen joints or prevent shifting of parts. For gaps wider than an eighth of an inch, cover the space with fiberglass mesh before applying mastic.
There are a couple of duct sealing tapes that are not as messy to use as mastic which might offer similar results. Foil-backed butyl tape is much easier to use than mastic and some tests indicate that it maintains its integrity almost as well as mastic. Oriented polypropylene (OPP) tape, when clamped, is an effective material for sealing flex duct to metal collars.
If your ductwork has leaky joints you are spending a lot more money on heating and cooling costs than you should. Sealing your ductwork will not only save energy, but it might make your home more comfortable by keeping the proper air flow balance to all of your rooms.
Call us at AirRite Air Conditioning Company with any questions you have about sealing your ducts or other energy-saving projects you can do around your home. We have served the Fort Worth/Arlington area since 1955. Our expert technicians can offer tips for your do-it-yourself projects, or better yet, do the work for you so you have time for other things. We are committed to helping you save money while keeping your home comfortable, safe and efficient.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Fort Worth and Arlington, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about duct sealing and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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