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Duct Sealing: Duct Tape is Not the Answer

Male hands setting up ventilation system indoorsWith temperatures already starting to soar, there’s no denying that summer is well on its way. That means making sure your cooling system is prepared with the right air conditioning services, such as maintenance. Tuning up your air conditioner with the help of our trained professionals is the best way to make sure that it will function without any problems over the summer, and won’t cost more to operate than it should.

But there is much more to keeping your cooling system functioning as efficiently as possible. Maintenance is key, but it’s not the end all. One of the biggest energy wasters you may face over the course of your homeownership is that of leaks from your ductwork. It’s something that not many people thing about, but proper duct sealing can keep your HVAC systems from losing around 20-30% of the air moving through it.

Consider what that means—it’s air you pay to cool in the summer (or heat, in the winter) that simply goes to waste. With your ducts sealed up though, you’ll see savings on your monthly energy bills.

“Well, I Can Just Use Duct Tape, Right?”

No. The moment people hear the term duct sealing, they think of this useful tape. That is, useful for household jobs such as closing boxes and temporarily holding objects in place. Perhaps even useful for kids crafts and other DIY projects. What duct tape is not useful for, however, is actually sealing ducts.

“But Then Why Is It Called Duct Tape?”

We totally understand this question, and while we don’t have a definitive answer, we can share with you the common story that’s gotten passed down over the years.

Duct tape, when referring to the consumer-grade tape available in any hardware or craft store, is a cloth-backed adhesive first developed around the time of World War I. Its purpose then was to quickly seal ammo boxes up, and it was actually called duck tape.

There are two possible explanations for the name duck tape. It was either called this due to its duck-cloth backing, or because its water resistant features reminded people of how water washes off of a duck’s oiled back.

Later, in the 1950’s, duck became duct, and it’s believed that this was due to the mistaken assumption that it would work on ducts as a way to repair and seal them. And sure, this would work, but very temporarily. Test have repeatedly shows that it is not a permanent solutions, since standard store-bought duct tape responds poorly to heat and temperature fluctuations, which is very common in ductwork.

The adhesive of duct tape becomes brittle, and the tape begins peeling off within a month.

Trust the Pros for Adequate Duct Sealing

The good news is, just because you have ductwork damage doesn’t mean you have to have them replaced. Professional duct sealing often does the trick. Professional duct sealing involved the use of special mastic and/or metallic tapes that are far stronger than duct tape—because they are designed for this purpose.

An additional, but very important, benefit of calling in a professional for duct sealing or repair is that we can accurately pinpoint the exact location(s) of your leaks to make sure the problem is thoroughly remedied.

When you need quality air conditioning services in the Merced area or surrounding communities, contact Ace Air, Inc.

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