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Sealing & Insulating Ducts - Alternative to Zoning (Part 1)

 

In a previous post, we talked about zoning: creating separate thermostatically-controlled areas within your home to help even out the hot and cold spots.  Although zoning can save you up to 30% in energy costs, it is not without cost itself. Suppose you don’t want the expense of replacing your current system with a new multi-zoned HVAC unit, or re-working your current ductwork layout to accommodate a retrofit. Never fear! There are lots of things you can do to address and possibly alleviate the uneven temperatures in your home. In this post (the first of a 3-part series), we'll focus on how sealing and insulating ducts may help.

 

 

Step 1: Seal the ducts

Ductwork is used to distribute the heated or cooled air throughout your home.  In a typical home, 20-30% of the air in the ductwork is lost due to leaks, holes, and poor insulation.  The result is difficulty keeping the house comfortable no matter how the thermostat is set.  Check the ducts in your attic, crawl space, and basement, and look for holes or gaps, areas where the ductwork has been crushed or kinked, or has become disconnected.  Repair and seal the holes using mastic sealant or metal-backed (foil) tape – NOT the typical grey fabric duct tape! Contrary to its name, “duct tape” is not the best solution for sealing ducts.  Cloth-backed utility tapes are not recommended because they will fall off easily, degrade with extreme heating and cooling, and do not reflect heat.  Look for aluminum-backed tape with the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) logo. Duct mastic is the preferred material for sealing ductwork seams and joints, especially irregular or jagged edges.

Step 2: Seal Registers & Vents

Check all the air register vents in each room, and the return air grill, to ensure there is a tight seal between the duct opening and the grill, that there are no tears in the ductwork from debris falling inside the register, and that the duct has not torn away from the opening.

Step 3: Insulate the ducts

Insulate the ducts, especially in the attic where the temperatures soar in the summer, and in the crawl space and basement where the temperatures are coldest in the winter.  Wrap all ducts with foil-faced fiberglass insulation having an R-6 value or greater and seal the joints with foil-faced duct tape.

Prefer a hands-off approach to your ductwork?  If you live in the Nashville and surrounding area, call on Interstate AC Service at 615-832-8500 to help with ductwork repair, or whatever heating and cooling issues you may have.  We’re here for you!

Important Tips & Advice

 

 

You often don't think about your heating or air-conditioning system until something goes wrong. But there is so much you can do to help keep your system from breaking down. We regularly post information to help you learn what you can do to keep your system running, to save money and energy.  Search our many posts, videos, and podcasts, for valuable information that is never a sales pitch. Subscribe to receive an email when something new is posted, so you won’t miss any important tips.

Choosing a Repair Company

Whether you’re talking about heating or cooling, repairing or replacing a system, you want a company that can advise you reliably based on what is in your best interest, not based on what is convenient or what earns them the most money (commissions). We'll help you choose the best solution to fit your needs. Check out our many posts at HVAC News You Can Use and our podcasts.

Going Green

We're concerned about the environment and know all the latest technologies - such as geothermal systems, LED lights, and smart thermostats - that can reduce energy and put more "green" in your pocket!  We've provided HVAC systems in certified LEED buildings and written many posts on ways to Go Green.

The Sign of Service

We are a repair company performing a full range of commercial and residential heating, air conditioning, energy management and comfort products service, maintenance, and installation. We are a locally-owned company serving Nashville-Davidson County and the surrounding counties including Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson, Sumner, Robertson, and Cheatham.

Who We Are

Our service technicians are fully trained and experienced.  We can tackle the most complicated system to the simplest of systems – from large commercial plants to single-family homes.  Our ownership group of Eddie Hutton, Tony Anderson, Roger Eldridge,  Swaney Powers and Alan Seilbeck have over 125 years combined experience as leaders in the HVAC industry.

Dispatch

We are proud of our dispatchers that respond to your telephone call. When your system is down they make things happen. Our trucks are loaded with most parts needed for a quick repair. You can call day and night 7 days a week. Our normal weekday hours are 7:00AM to 5:00PM. Click on the button below to schedule a service call online. Emails and forms can only be answered weekdays from 7-5.”  

615-832-8500 Online Service Call

Maintenance

Did you know you should service your HVAC on a regular schedule – just like you would your car?  We have specialized maintenance programs to ensure the clean, energy efficient and safe operation of your HVAC systems.  This helps minimize service interruptions/breakdowns and maximize your equipment's lifespan.  All maintenance contract customers are assigned a primary technician that will get to know your facility and equipment and will treat it like his own.  You’ll receive discounts on repairs or new installations, and get priority service when it is cold or hot outside and you need service promptly.  Plus, maintenance contract customers are never charged overtime rates for emergency services after-hours, weekends or holidays. We’ll teach you how to save on maintenance costs by showing you things you can do yourself and when you need a technician. Here are some good posts:  Repair vs. Replace, Things to Try Before Calling for Service, Springtime Tips that Pay Off.

Commercial

Our team takes on HVAC projects for office, school, retail and industrial facilities. Check out these case studies:

Replacement of a 250-ton Cooling Tower

Ductless HVAC at Brentwood Middle School