Ducts will lose heat in the winter, and gain heat in the summer, if they are not properly insulated. Insulated ducts will have an easier time maintaining the temperature of the air flow throughout your home, ensuring the overall comfort levels in your home. Additionally, because heat is not lost or gained while moving air throughout your home, your heating and cooling system will not need to use as much energy to control the climate within your home, saving you money on your energy bills. Understanding the differences between the four main types of duct insulation can help you choose the one that best fits your needs.
Insulation sleeves are pre-fabricated sleeves that come in standardized sizes, and can be installed yourself over your ducts. They come in a variety of materials, usually foam or fiberglass, and simply need to be cut with scissors and then glued together around your ductwork. Their major downside is that since they are pre-fabricated, they do not install well around irregularly shaped ducts.
Foil-Backed Adhesive Foam
Foil-backed adhesive foam comes in rolls, which means that they will fit over irregular sections of your ductwork very easily. Additionally, they are extremely thin and lightweight, making them easier to work with when compared with their fiberglass counterparts. However, foam-based insulation can burn fairly easily, so be sure to check the installation instructions to ensure that you are not putting your home at risk of a fire.
Similar to foil-backed adhesive foam, fiberglass duct insulation comes in rolls. They are more fire-resistant than their foam counterparts, and come in a wide variety of thicknesses which provide different levels of noise and temperature insulation, allowing you to pick the make that best fits your needs. However, fiberglass insulation is heavier and harder to work with than foam insulation, which can increase your installation cost and time.
Foil-Backed Bubble Wrap
Foil-backed bubble wrap insulation is almost identical to foil-backed adhesive foam, but represents a much lower price point. However, they require spacers to be installed with them, as it is a reflective insulation and needs space between the duct and itself to work properly. This is a hassle to install and also means that the sound insulation provided by bubble wrap is sub-par, which can be an issue if you have a noisy HVAC system. However, this is the best budget option available for most homeowners.
For more information, contact Climec Residential Inc. or a similar company.