The heating and cooling efficiency of your home is the result of several factors, including air sealing, upgrading insulation and using an efficient HVAC system, that combine to achieve energy savings for Phoenix Valley homeowners. Duct efficiency is a big contributor to whether or not you’ll see those energy savings, and the ducts’ insulation plays a major role in that equation.
In order to upgrade insulation factors, follow these steps:
- Use the right type of insulation.
There are a variety of insulation materials from which to choose, but ducts normally require flexible insulation, in order to wrap around their often circular pipes. However, rigid insulation is acceptable to use around square or rectangular ducts. Regardless of which material you choose, duct insulation must have a special foil or vinyl material on the outer side of the insulation. This material helps to reduce the possibility of moisture absorption into the actual insulation, which can damage it and reduce efficiency. Never use insulation lined with paper, as it will increase fire hazards and the likelihood of moisture problems.
- Use an effective R-value.
R-value is the standard method for indicating insulation efficiency, and homeowners in the Phoenix area should use recommended R-values to achieve maximum efficiency. For ducts that are located in unconditioned areas, such as an attic, use R-4 to R-8-rated insulation materials. It will be difficult for most homeowners to access ducts that are located in conditioned spaces throughout the home, so it’s best to call an expert for help. These R-value recommendations apply to homes that use either gas, oil, heat pump or electric resistance heating methods.
Duct efficiency is also negatively impacted by leaks in the ducts, so it’s important to regularly assess whether ducts are leaking, either through holes and cracks or through poorly connected duct sections.
Help raise your home’s duct efficiency a few notches by ensuring that insulation is helping, not hindering, efficiency. If you’d like a professional assessment of your ducts’ efficiency, or suggestions to improve your home’s overall energy savings, contact the experts at Wolff Mechanical.