Enhance Energy Efficiency by Repairing Torn Insulation on DuctsYour home’s forced-air heating and cooling system depends on effective ductwork to deliver conditioned air. In a properly maintained system, ductwork delivers air to rooms with a minimal amount of energy loss before returning the spent air to your furnace, heat pump or A/C to start the process over again.

However, if your ducts are leaking air, or aren’t properly insulated, a significant amount of energy loss can occur. That’s why it’s important to seal duct leaks. Repairing torn insulation on ducts should be a key part of maintaining effective ductwork.

So, how does one go about repairing torn insulation on ducts? Ideally, an HVAC technician should complete the job by following the steps below:

Spotting torn insulation is fairly easy, at least in places where you can actually see your ductwork. Otherwise, an HVAC pro can find the torn or missing insulation during a ductwork inspection. Once you’ve found where the insulation is defective, check to make sure the duct itself isn’t damaged. If that’s the case, you’ll want to repair the duct leak before attending to the insulation.

Apply quality metal-backed tape, covering the leak with about an inch of tape to spare, and then coat the repair with mastic sealant, using a stiff paintbrush or something similar. Once the duct leak has been repaired (if that step was necessary), insert some spare fiberglass insulation into the hole in the outer foil insulating material. The insulation fill should cover the duct repair, and pack the area where insulation is missing or torn.

Next, position the outer foil insulation to cover the repair, and then use metal-backed tape to cover the torn area, with the edges of the tape extending nearly an inch onto the existing insulation. Just to be safe, cover your repair with duct mastic, essentially repeating the process you used to repair the duct itself.

For a complete duct inspection and any needed repairs or improvements, please contact Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal today. We provide quality HVAC services throughout Northwest Arkansas.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Springdale, Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about duct insulation and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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