Many homeowners often overlook the proper insulation of their ductwork. Many might even find it unnecessary as their uninsulated system performs just as they like it to. But what if we told you that much of the HVAC system’s efforts go in vain without insulation? Or that it can also help prolong the life of your ductwork and other system components?
Let’s take a look at why you should install HVAC duct insulation on your home system.
HVAC ducts pass through several rooms with varying temperatures before delivering air through the registers. This means that the system will need to overcome the duct’s temperature before the desirable air temperature is distributed to other parts of the home.
The furnace in the basement will push air through cold ducts before it can heat your home. The opposite is true when the air conditioner is turned on during a hot day. It will have to battle with warm ducts before it can effectively cool your home.
Heat transfer will happen no matter what and is a common obstacle to overcome during initial operation. But your system will cycle frequently enough for thermal insulation to keep heat in or out between cycling. In doing so, the system will have to work less to overcome the temperature of the ductwork.
Ductwork also tends to leak at joints. Any loss of air means it will take longer for the system to provide enough hot or cold air in your home’s desired areas. Insulation will help seal these leaks, increase airflow, and further the system’s efficiency.
Does it Provide Efficiency?
By reducing heat transfer and leaks, you will see significant gains in performance. Not only will the system be able to perform its task more quickly, but it will also have to work less to do so.
Studies show that uninsulated ducts can reduce the HVAC system’s efficiency 10 to 30 percent. That means you can save hundreds of dollars on energy bills each year by adding insulation to the ductwork.
Are there Any other Benefits?
The reduction of energy consumption is just one benefit of adding insulation to your ductwork. As mentioned, adding insulation will reduce the strain on the system.
This can help prolong the life of moving parts significantly. You will not only save money on monthly bills but costly repairs and replacements as well.
Uninsulated AC ducts will also build up condensation due to the external temperatures. This will lead to corrosion of sheet metal ducts.
Moisture in the system can also cause mold issues and more. By installing insulation, you are taking preventative measures to combat both of these issues.
Insulation may also act as a sound barrier. As comfortable as HVAC systems make our homes, the various vibrations, clicks, and so on can be disturbing. This barrier will help reduce these noises heard in each room and help improve your home’s overall comfort.
Why would I insulate my Ducts?
Insulating your ducts may be something you can do on your own to save some money. However, some situations may warrant a professional installation.
Insulation and sealers are often easy to apply, and it is something you can quickly learn how to do. If the ductwork in your home is easily accessible, it may be something you can do in a weekend.
But it isn’t always a straight forward process. If the system is old and hasn’t been insulated, you may have sections that must be replaced before you can apply any insulation. Additionally, many of the ducts will pass through crawl spaces and other hard to reach areas that can be difficult to work in.
In these cases, professionals will have the experience necessary to ensure the best results.
Is it Cost-Effective?
It’s important to remember that this update is an investment. Insulation for ducts typically costs $0.95 to $2 per square foot. The size of your existing ducts, the type of insulation you use, and how much ductwork is present can lead to a significant expense.
This means that installation may wash out the savings on energy bills in the first year or so in a typical home.
Before you allow this to influence your decision, you must remember that you are saving money in other areas. Repair costs, replacement of ducts, and even mold removal can all be prevented with proper insulation making it a worthy investment.
Insulating ductwork is something every homeowner should do. The most significant benefit is reducing energy consumption and prolonging the life of the system. It will also significantly increase the comfort of the home.
Insulated ducts will allow the HVAC system to heat or cool rooms more quickly and reduce noise. Both of these factors make significant differences in daily living.