Sealing Air Ducts – Don’t Use Duct Tape!

Leaking ducts are very common – so common that it is estimated that the average home loses about 25 to 40 percent of their heating and air conditioning through the duct system.
This not only affects your utility bill, it can also potentially affect indoor air quality in a big way, as leaky ducts often transfer outside air to the inside of your living area. Check out our air duct cleaning specials on air duct cleaning.

Duct Tape: the Ultimate Misnomer

You would think that with a name like duct tape, the famous grey adhesive would be excellent for sealing air ducts. You would also assume that sealing ducts is the original primary function intended for duct tape. But that popular thinking is wrong – on both accounts!

Duct tape has an interesting and enlightening history that can help us understand why it really isn’t the preferred material for sealing ducts. The first version of duct tape was actually introduced by the U.S. military during World War II, as a type of one tape fits all reparation adhesive, and was commonly used for tasks like:

  • Bundling Cables
  • Putting Together Sets
  • Back then, it was commonly referred to as “gaffing tape”

Where We Went Wrong

In an unfortunate turn of events, after the war many contractors began to use the tape as sealant for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning ducts. This is when the color was made grey to match the ducts, and the name informally began to transition to “duct tape”.

The Flaws of Duct Tape as Duct Sealant

The problem is, it should have no such name. In short, duct tape fails for two main reasons:

  • It does not sufficiently seal.
  • It has a short lifespan

Reason being, given the heat of the duct, the adhesive aspect of the tape quickly hardens, and eventually loses is stickiness, dries, and cracks. Then you are back to square one with leaky air ducts.

Alternative Products For Sealing Air Ducts

The preferred do-it-yourself technique for sealing ducts is with mastics, while the use of aerosol sealant is a possibility, if you get it done professionally. However, if you must use tape, metal-reinforced or “foil backed” tape is a far better choice than duct tape. These type of products should be used when performing a dryer duct cleaning as well.

If you need to make sure your air duct system is sealed properly, call Fresh Air– a professional air duct cleaning company in the greater San Diego & Temecula area.

Air Duct Cleaning Chimney Cleaning
Call Fresh Air  Today – in San Diego & Temecula

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