Over a period of time, you will probably find that your ductwork insulation shows a few signs of wear and tear and this means that warm or cold air is being allowed to escape.
For example, if the crawlspace in your home is enclosed it should stay nice and cool in the summer and feel warmer in the winter. If there is a noticeably excessive difference between the two, this could be a sign that your ducts have become poorly sealed or are inadequately insulated.
Problems of poor insulation
There are a number of problems associated with poorly insulated ductwork and they can be fairly easy to spot if you know what you are looking for.
You may see condensation forming on the outside of your ductwork during the summer months when humidity is at its highest and your air-conditioning unit is working hard to keep the temperature down in your house.
Poor insulation is a big culprit in loading a few extra zero’s onto your utility bill and not only will it be adding up to 30% to your running costs, excess moisture in your crawl space can lead to problems with mold.
Upgrade or replace your insulation
If you want to find an expert to help with upgrading or replacing your insulation or servicing your unit, click here for more information.
You might also want to consider having a go yourself at repairing leaks in your HVAC ductwork.
If you are going to go down the DIY route, make sure you always wear goggles, protective clothing and an approved dust mask as well as good quality pair of gloves that still allow you to carry out fitting and taping with them on.
To check for leaks in your ductwork, turn on the heating or cooling system and carefully feel your way along the ducts to see if you can feel or see any air leaks.
Always pay more attention to vulnerable areas such as joints or connections, where leaks are more likely.
If you find any leaks, mark them so that you can return to them for repairing, after you have turned off the HVAC unit in preparation for working safely.
Arrange to cover any leaks with a metallic foil tape that is specifically made for sealing ductwork and avoid using standard cloth duct tape, as it is unlikely to stand up to extremes of temperature.
If you want an added level of protection, you might want to apply some duct mastic to the tape and duct after it is in place.
If you are panning on insulating your HAVC ductwork, you should ensure that you use a foil faced fiberglass insulation product that has an R-6 rating or higher.
Also ensure you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on which type of metallic foil duct tape to use, so that you don’t have any problems with holding the insulation in place and getting a good seal.
You can even add an additional layer to your existing insulation if it is reasonable condition, but if it is in a poor state, remove it and replace it rather than cover it over.
Maintaining your heating and cooling system often involves calling in an expert, but you might at least feel confident enough in your DIY skills to replace or repair your ductwork.
Helen F. Crafton is a sales associate at a home improvement store. She likes to write about home renovation. You can find her articles on many DIY and homeowner websites.