Air leaks in your home’s ductwork can waste 20 percent or more of your HVAC system’s conditioned air output. When used correctly, HVAC tape can curtail those losses, and save you energy and money. If you’re not familiar with this HVAC product, this guide can help you understand what the tape is and how it’s best used.
HVAC Tape vs. the Imposter
The first fact you need to know is that HVAC and duct tape are not the same. In spite of its misleading name, duct tape shouldn’t be used on HVAC ductwork. Duct tape simply isn’t durable enough for use where high or extreme temperatures can occur – like your ductwork that gets filled with heated/cooled air, and may be located in unconditioned spaces. HVAC tapes are specifically made for this kind of application, which is why they’re used by industry professionals for sealing ductwork.
Special Qualities of HVAC Tapes
Experienced HVAC contractors seal ducts with UL-listed tapes that are code compliant, and have the adhesion ability and shear strength to remain in place and seal effectively for a decade or more. To be UL-listed, the tapes are put through rigorous tests for temperature and flame resistance, static load, leakage, mold growth, humidity and other conditions.
- UL A-P tapes are best for sealing seams and joints on rigid ducts or ductboard. They’re made from aluminum or aluminum-alloy foil and have a release liner.
- UL B-FX tapes are suitable for use on flexible ducts, can be made from film, foil or cloth.
Best Practices for Tape Application
A knowledgeable HVAC pro can select the right tape for your type of ductwork, and then make sure it’s installed properly by:
- Cleaning the duct surfaces to remove oils, soot, and dirt to ensure good adhesion.
- Applying the tape correctly so it conforms to the shape of the duct without any wrinkles or gaps.
- Firmly wiping down the tape with a squeegee to maximize cohesion and create a permanent bond.
To learn if installing HVAC tape can reduce energy waste in your Indianapolis home’s ductwork, contact us at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.