Duct Tape for Duct Sealing? Think Again!

Duct Tape for Duct Sealing? Think Again!

Although temperatures have been a little milder than typical in the last week or so, the humidity almost makes up for it, leaving us feeling pretty hot and uncomfortable when outdoors, and craving the sweet cooling comfort that comes from our air conditioning systems.

But what if yours isn’t quite working up to par? If you’ve just recently had your air conditioner maintained and/or it is a newer air conditioner, your first reaction might be to assume something is wrong with the unit itself. But, it could actually be an issue with your ductwork—that is, the ductwork it’s breached or is leaking.

How Your Ductwork Contributes to Energy Use

Keeping up on your AC maintenance will definitely help improve energy efficiency, but that’s not all you should consider when it comes to your energy use. Leaky ductwork is actually one of the top contributors to energy loss in homes, leading to the loss of 20% to 30% of the air moving through your ventilation system.

Proper Los Alamos, NM duct sealing, however, can stop your HVAC system from losing this energy. This prevents the air you pay to cool in the summer from going to waste. With your air ducts properly sealed, you’ll recognize significant savings on your monthly energy bills.

The important thing to remember about duct sealing, however, it that is must be performed by a professional. Yes, we get it: your natural inclination may be to reach for the roll of duct tape sitting in your garage. That’s a problem though, because although duct tape is useful for a number of minor household jobs and projects, one job that it’s not useful for is sealing actual ducts.

So Why Is It Called Duct Tape?

Duct tape, when used in reference to the consumer-grade tape available in hardware stores, is a cloth-backed adhesive that was first created around the time of the First World War. It was intended to quickly seal up ammunition boxes and was actually called duck tape. The reason for this isn’t certain, but it could either be because it was backed with duck cloth, or because its water resistant properties reminded people of how water washes off a duck’s oiled back.

Somewhere in the 1950s, duck became “duct” which followed with the mistaken assumption that the tape might work on ductwork as a way to repair and seal it. Superficially, it seems like this would work, right? However, tests have shown that it does not. Sealing your ducts with store-bought duct tape is a temporary fix, at best, to a much bigger problem: breached ductwork.

The Difference a Professional Makes

When our technicians come in to perform professional ductwork sealing, we use special equipment, such as resin-based mastic sealant and metallic tapes, to ensure that your ductwork is made airtight once again. However, it takes more than professional sealing equipment to do a thorough job.

Experienced HVAC technicians must locate where the leaks are occurring, and be able to access them—which simply isn’t something an amateur can do and isn’t something a homeowner should do. If you suspect you need duct sealing services (spikes in your energy bills, hissing noises, and clanging noises where your ductwork is located are all signs), be sure to reach out to our professionals.

Roadrunner Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration is a full-service HVAC, plumbing, and indoor air quality company. Contact us today to schedule services!