insulate the attic ductwork

How To Insulate The Attic Ductwork

Our ductwork performs the crucial task of transporting conditioned air to the various rooms in our homes. Now, you may be thinking about adding duct insulation to boost energy efficiency. This post draws on recent research and industry experts’ knowledge to address your concern completely.

No matter where your ducts are, wrapping your ducting in fiberglass batts is frequently the most efficient and straightforward way of duct insulation. However, there are some situations when using no insulation or loose-fill insulation is preferable.

How To Insulate The Attic Ductwork- a step-by-step guide

Take the following steps to decide if and how to insulate your ducts:

Continue reading this post for more details. We pay particular attention to the steps required to wrap ducts in fiberglass batts. Finally, to help you deepen your awareness of home energy efficiency, we provide a variety of additional readings. We also provide the best air duct repair and replacement in Alpharetta.

1. Check Your Ductwork’s Size And Form

Inspecting your complete system is the first step toward insulating your ductwork. Ducts are typically only found in the attic or basement/crawl. Nevertheless, some houses have ducts in both places. Accessing these conduits frequently necessitates traveling through unclean, confined spaces. 

As a result, it is advisable only to enter safe locations and wear the appropriate protective gear when inspecting and following operations. As you inspect, note the diameter/perimeter and length and the specific measurements of each ducting size. Usually, a single home will have two or more different-sized ducts throughout the system.

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Remember, if the task appears too daunting, it is always possible to call weatherization professionals to provide a bid and do all the duct insulating work for you.

Does Exposed Ductwork Need To Be Insulated?

Exposed ductwork needs to be insulated if it is in an unconditioned space. On the other hand, if the ductwork is in a conditioned attic or basement, It is not necessary to insulate.

Any heat or cold leaking from ducts in climate-controlled buildings goes to places that are already heated or cooled. Thus, jacket losses in climate-controlled environments are neither expensive nor wasteful in energy use.

Which Insulation Material Is Used In Ductwork?

According to the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association, fiberglass insulation is the industry standard for duct insulation. Use foil-faced fiberglass batts with an R-value over R-6 for all duct insulation in at-home remodeling projects.

The conventional practice is to enclose ducts in the belly of mobile homes with loose-fill insulation. Additionally, it is sometimes most feasible to blow loose-fill insulation over the top of the ducts and the ceiling in one pass for attics with ducts that are incredibly close to the ceiling.

The ideal alternative is foil-faced fiberglass batts since they are simple to install and because the foil functions as a moisture barrier to prevent condensation on duct surfaces.

2. Compile All The Required Materials

Now, place all your material orders at the hardware shop or online. You will require special high-temperature foil tape made for duct applications and foil-faced duct insulation (R-6 or greater).

Use the same foil tape for the joints as you would for the fiberglass insulation if air sealing is required. If the air leaks are terrible, you can use specialized duct sealing mastic in addition to the tape. Using a utility knife to cut the fiberglass batts is the simplest method. Grab one of these if necessary while purchasing the remaining supplies. Contact us for Air Duct Sanitizing Alpharetta.

How Much Duct Insulation do I need?

Using geometry and the measurements you recorded during your inspection, determine the general area of your ducts’ exterior for fiberglass batts. When converting between feet, inches, and other units, use caution.

If your ducts are circular, multiply the total length by the diameter of a circle to determine the required square footage. By measuring with a ruler or tape measure, you may quickly add up the perimeter of square or rectangular ducts. To obtain the necessary square footage, multiply the perimeter by the total length of ducting.

In general, buy at least 10% more material than you estimated for the square footage, as corners and challenging spaces frequently require more material than you anticipate. Calculate the cost of the tape based on your measurements and purchase additional returnable rolls that have not been opened.

3. Seal Each And Every Duct Seam

It’s time to seal all duct seams if you discovered significant leakage during your inspection. One of the best strategies to increase in-home duct efficiency is duct sealing.

By covering the seams with foil tape, you may seal your ducts. To guarantee a solid bond, give the tape some time to set. However, you can do air sealing on the entire system or just the tricky sections. Moreover, You can seal the boot connection by removing the register and taping the duct’s end to your house. Additionally, You can cover the tape with duct mastic if the tape does not offer a sufficient seal. Apply the mastic to all the tape seams as directed on the package using gloves and a paintbrush. Before doing more work, be sure the mastic has had time to dry.

4. Use The Correct Insulation

Applying the insulation is the project’s current main task. The instructions for projects using fiberglass batts and loose-fill are covered below.

1. Fiberglass Insulation 

As previously mentioned, foil-faced fiberglass batts are the ideal insulation material for most ducts. The installation technique is relatively labor-intensive despite the insulation’s effectiveness.

First, cut the batt so it can fit around the duct properly and closely. Compress the batt down with a straight, firm edge on a flat, hard cutting surface, such as a piece of plywood, for the best cutting results. Afterward, move the utility knife along the straight edge to create a flat, even cut. With the foil facing out, wrap the batt around the duct and tape the exposed edges together. For the following batting section, keep using this approach. Additionally, make sure you tape the intersection of each piece of the batt.

You must take care while cutting the batts to fit the strange angles and joins at branches, corners, and ends. The overall objective is to cover the duct with batting, leaving no gaps and ensuring that the batt is entirely in touch with the duct.

2. The Loose-Fill Insulation

For some particular circumstances, you could decide to install loose-fill insulation around and above your ducts. While loose-fill is the most cost-effective option, it does not offer a moisture barrier. Spread the loose-fill insulation as usual into the attic or up into the belly of the manufactured home. The objective of manufactured homes is to occupy all available space. You should insulate attics with at least two to three inches of loose-fill insulation. 

Congrats! The work is complete. Duct insulation and air sealing typically result in total energy savings throughout the program, and insulation for ducts is considered a significant investment. Insulation blowing is typically a job for specialists. But you can do the job yourself if you rent specialized insulation blowers.

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