Residents here in the greater Orlando area are always searching for new ways to save energy and money around their homes. In today’s economy homeowners can use all the savings tips they can get, so here’s a guide to insulating your home’s duct system to help reduce the loss of conditioned air (also known as heat loss and gain). Your ductwork can be responsible for a great amount of energy waste, since it covers a large area throughout the home and any leaks are hidden away from notice (in unconditioned spaces) within your walls, attic, unfinished basement, garage or crawl spaces.
According to studies from the US Dept. of Energy’s consumer education website, Energy Savers, from 10 to 30 percent of the energy used to provide heat and cool air to your house may be lost through conduction, as it travels through uninsulated (or under-insulated) ducts. This is partially because ductwork is made from thin metallic substances which conduct heat well. That’s why ductwork insulation is so effective.
In addition to conduction losses, ducts can develop leaks, ducts may become blocked with dust buildup or be damaged from a collapsed area or twisted section. These problems may come about from poor initial installation, bad duct design or lack of maintenance. All of these issues can contribute to heat loss and ever-higher utility bills. Before insulating, it’s recommended to deal with any of these issues by scheduling a duct inspection, duct sealing and possible cleaning from your local HVAC professional.
Ducts in our climate should be insulated with rigid fiber board material with a thermal (heat flow) resistance of R-4 to R-8 in the attic area and R-4 or below in the crawl spaces and basement. Ducts in conditioned living spaces within your home also experience some heat gain and loss, so these areas may also benefit from insulation.
Questions about ductwork insulation? Talk to the experts at Rinaldi’s Air Conditioning for professional HVAC advice – we’re happy to help. We also offer expert system design, installation, troubleshooting, repairs and maintenance services.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about ductwork insulation and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Rinaldi’s services Orlando, Florida and the surrounding areas. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!