Properly insulating to build a thermal shield around any ducts is among the simplest DIY projects one needs to do to boost the efficiency of your heating and/or cooling system. HVAC systems operate without effective insulation every minute, and your ducts lose useful electricity.
In generating a thermal barrier by correctly insulating your ducts, it will actually prevent radiant heat flow. Thus, it leads to improved performance and less demand on the furnace or air conditioning systems. This contributes to a longer life of the equipment and lower bills for utilities.
Steps to Follow
It’s rather easy installing a thermal heat barrier using foil insulation tape, which is made for ducts and other surfaces. There are only a few steps to follow. Firstly, you should decide on a certain way to apply the tape around the duct. Making a rough sketch will be of help as this will enable you to include the measurements in the drawing and find any issues. So, you leave these areas to complete at the end.
1. To decide on the width of insulation tape you will need, put a string around the largest common section of the duct and get a measure. Tape for duct wrap comes in various sizes, ranging from 24-48 inches wide and up to 125 feet long.
2. Purchase about extra 10 inches in width just in case. In order to accommodate the spacers, the insulation needs to be a bit wider. The spacers help create airspace which increases vales up to R-6. Wrapping the duct with no spacers’ is the lower R-values choice.
3. Order sufficient amount of insulation and reflective foil tape to finish the job. In general, duct wrap works need more tape as it is used more frequently to build a seal around the problem areas. Most times these areas are not perfectly formed and the extra tape helps to attach and seal different parts of insulation.
4. Applying spacers: They are added every 4 feet or so. Be sure to use them when joining two pieces together as well. Do this throughout the project, as this ensures sufficient airspace that further enhances your energy gains.
5. Make spacers by cutting 3-inch-wide strips and placing them at designated points around the duct.
6. Installing Insulation: Cut the length of the insulation for a particular area. Apply the insulation over the duct. Tape the seam. Go ahead and cut with a shaving knife or utility scissors if the insulation is too long.
8. Continue to apply the insulation until the ducts are fully covered.
9. Move on to the problematic areas identified earlier and complete these regions. Find out the most convenient way to cover the area. Where possible, try to leave airspace. Make sure that all the seams have been taped. The main aim is to have these regions wrapped and taped, do not worry about the look of it.
Check the entire duct to make sure that every part is wrapped properly. Any adjoining pieces of insulation should be taped and sealed.