Cutting down your energy bill and reducing the amount of heat that is lost throughout your home requires you to make sure that everything that can be insulated in your home is insulated. One area that homeowners often overlook when adding insulation to their home to cut down on lost energy is duct work. If you really want to cut down on your energy loss this winter, you need to take a day and insulate all the ducts in both your crawl spaces and in your attic.
Inspect Your Ducts
The first thing you need to do is inspect all of your ducts. If you see any or notice any holes or leaks in your duct system, you'll want to either apply caulk to the holes and leaks, or you'll want to apply special tape to your ducts. If you go with the tape method, make sure you purchase tape from an HVAC or home improvement store that is specifically designed to withstand high amounts of heat.
You should also measure your ducts so that you have an idea of how much insulation you will need to purchase in order to cover up your ducts. Remember, you'll be wrapping the insulation completely around your ducts.
Purchase The Right Supplies
Next, you need to purchase the insulation you'll need, which commonly referred to as duct wrap. It is a fiberglass product that has an outer foil vapor that serves as a barrier. This foil vapor is necessary in order to prevent condensation from building up and making a sweet home for mold to grow on your ducts.
Try to purchase duct wrap that has a high R rating. The R rating lets you know how energy efficient it will be. The R ratings work on a scale from one to ten, with one being the lowest level of insulation and ten being the highest you can purchase.
You'll also need aluminum tape and wire to secure the insulation in place. You will need access to pliers as well.
Since you'll be working with fiberglass, you should also purchase a protective mask, goggles and gloves.
Installing The Insulation
You will need to cut the insulation to the length of the circumference of the duct and add a couple of inches on so you have some room to work with.
Once you have cut it down to size, feel back the foil backing a few inches and cut off a small section of the fiberglass. Removing a small section of fiberglass while exposing the backing will allow you to overlap the insulation and seal it effectively. You may want to do all this cutting in an open work space before you bring the insulation in to your crawl space or attic.
Wrap the insulation around the duct, and then secure it in place where it overlaps with aluminum tape. Aluminum tape is specifically designed to withstand exposure to both extremely hot and cold temperatures, making it the perfect tape to use for this job.
Next, take a strip of wire and wrap it around the duct and the installation. Use pliers to twist the ends of the metal wiring together so that it is securely wrapped around the duct. It should be right next to the insulation, but not cutting into it. The wire will help relieve the stress on the seems and will help keep your insulation together and in tact for the long term.
For more information, or if you would like professional assistance, contact a heating contractor in your area.