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Can You Seal Your Own Ducts?

A worker is sealing two sections of house attic vent duct insulation with aluminum foil tape. The foreground is a section of truss and the background is OSB sheathing for the roof.The short answer to this is, “no.” But we’re sure you’d like a bit more information than just that.

First, we need to start by letting you know why breached ductwork is such a problem. When it comes to heating efficiency (or cooling efficiency, for that matter) damaged and leaking ductwork significantly dampers the power of your entire system, leading to unexpected heating repair in Atwater, CA, and letting as much as 30% of your conditioned air escape into unused parts of your home, like the attic or crawlspace where your ducts are installed. That means 30% of air you are still paying for is getting wasted!

Of course, this seems urgent, and surely you’d like to just fix it ASAP with a bit of duct tape, but we’re afraid that’s a no-go. Read on to learn more.

Duct Tape: Not So Aptly Named

Duct tape was invented some time around WWI. It was, and still is, a consumer-grade adhesive available in most stores, with a cloth back, and its original purpose was to quickly seal up ammunition boxes. Back then, it was actually called duck tape. But why?

There’s a couple possible explanations. The first is, it was backed with duck cloth and given its name due to that. The other explanation is that the tape’s water-resistant properties reminded people of how water washed off a duck’s oiled back.

Around the 1950s, duck became duct, but little is known about why—perhaps there was an assumption that it may work on ductwork as a method to repair and seal them. After all, this seems like it would work! Unfortunately, though, tests have shown it doesn’t. The problem it that duct tape reacts badly to heat and temperature fluctuations—it turns brittle and cracks until the tape fails altogether.

Since temperature fluctuations are obviously unavoidable with ductwork, this isn’t an option. Duct tape can last maybe a couple months during the heating system before failing and leaving you with the same inefficient system operation you had before applying the tape.

How About That Professional Duct Sealing?

Professional duct sealing involves our professionals utilizing special equipment, such as resin-based mastic sealant and metallic tape, to ensure that the air ducts are made airtight again. However, it takes more than just professional-grade sealant to do the job effectively. Our technicians need to effectively located where air leaks are coming from so we can access them properly—something that shouldn’t be trusted to an amateur.

If you suspect your ductwork is suffering and you’re in need of professional sealing, be sure to contact us! Some signs you may notice are the sounds of hissing or banging coming from loose or breached ductwork, or cold spots throughout your home where the heater can’t reach due to warm air leaking out somewhere else. Should you notice this, our team is happy to perform duct testing to see if you do in fact have a breach and where it’s located.

Contact Ace Air, Inc. today for quality heating services, ductwork services, and more! Your comfort shouldn’t be compromised.

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