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No, You Should Not Attempt Duct Sealing on Your Own

Male hands setting up ventilation system indoorsWith temperatures making a significant drop in the coming weeks, there’s no denying that winter is well on its way. That being said, it’s vital that you make sure your forced air heating system is ready for what’s to come, which includes scheduling routine maintenance for the system. Getting a professional heater tune-up is the best way to ensure that the system will function without any issues over the winter, and that it won’t cost more to run than it should.

There’s much more to keeping this heating system functioning as efficiently as possible, though. Maintenance is essential, of course, but it’s not the end all to be all. One of the biggest threats to energy loss you might face over the course of your homeownership is that of leaks from your ductwork. It’s something that too little people think about, but proper, professional, Camden County, NJ duct sealing can keep your HVAC systems from losing about 20-30% of the air moving through it.

Consider what this means—it’s conditioned air you’re paying for all winter long (and summer long, in the case of your air conditioner) that simply goes to waste. With your ducts properly sealed, however, you’ll see savings on your monthly energy bills.

“So, Tell Me Why I Can’t Seal Them Myself with Duct Tape?”

Sure! After all, when most people hear the term duct sealing, they probably do envision duct tape, which can be found at pretty much any hardware store. It’s very useful for household tasks such as closing boxes or temporarily holding objects in place. It could even be great for kids crafts and other DIY projects in the home. But it should not be used for sealing up your ductwork!

“Why Is It Called Duct Tape, Then?”

This is obviously the next question you’d have. We don’t have a definitive answer, but we can tell you what the story is that’s been passed down over the years.

Duct tape, when referring to the consumer-grade tape, is a cloth-backed adhesive that was created around the time of World War I. It’s intended purpose at that time is believed to have been to quickly seal ammo boxes up, and it was actually called duck tape then.

There are a couple possible explanations for this. One, it was called this due to its duck-cloth backing. Or two, it’s water resistant properties reminded people of how water washes off a duck’s oiled back. Although the exact reason isn’t apparent, somewhere in the 1950s, duck became duct.

It’s believed this happened because of the mistaken assumption that this tape would work on air ducts as a way to repair and seal them. Sure, this would work, but very temporarily. The temperature fluctuations of your HVAC systems’ ductwork cause the material of the duct tape to become brittle, and therefore break or peel off your ducts in a matter of months.

“So, What Can I Do?”

Call us for professional duct sealing! Don’t assume that because your ducts have air leaks that they have to be replaced (though, in severe cases, this might be true). Professional duct sealing involves the use of special mastic and/or metallic taps that are far stronger than store-bought duct tape, because they are designed for this specific purpose.

Another reason we discourage homeowners against trying to seal or repair ducts on their own is because air ducts are not easily accessible, and pinpointing the exact location of an air leak can be difficult. You might accidentally end up doing more harm than good to your air ducts, and therefore, your HVAC system.

Contact Ambient Comfort today for your HVAC services!

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