March 4, 2024

Residential, commercial, and industrial buildings all include air ducts, which are branching networks of tubes located in the ceiling, floors, and walls. They transport air to every room from the central air conditioning system or furnace. Ducts that leak conditioned air into unconditioned regions (such basements, attics, crawl spaces, or garages) can increase a building’s annual heating and cooling costs by hundreds of dollars, regardless of the material they are composed of—sheet metal, fiberglass, or another substance.

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Fortunately, sealing and insulating existing air ducts appropriately helps minimize that needless energy use and expense. In light of the current emphasis on sustainability and the rapidly increasing costs of gas and electricity, duct insulation is a financially advantageous solution for property owners and managers seeking to lower a building’s carbon footprint and energy expenses. There are further advantages.

These are five arguments in favor of insulating your building’s air ducts.

Reduce Your Energy Costs. The US Department of Energy states that between 25% and 40% of the heating and cooling energy that travels through standard HVAC systems with air ducts in attics or crawl spaces is lost. The amount of heat transfer that happens as conditioned air moves from the heating and cooling system to each room is reduced when ductwork is insulated. As a result, the HVAC system works less hard and your power costs are lower since warm and cool air can now exit the room at the right temperature.

Increase Comfort. The air that reaches each room is closer to the ideal temperature, making the living area seem more pleasant, because properly sealed and insulated air ducts are more efficient at maintaining the temperature of the air they are delivering.

Aid the ecosystem. Insulated air ducts, as previously mentioned, reduce conduction of heat, allowing the HVAC system to maintain a comfortable temperature while using less energy. Reducing energy waste and consumption lowers the quantity of fuel required to produce power and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to reducing pollution of the air and water, saving energy also preserves natural resources, all of which contribute to a healthier living environment.

Stop the Growth of Fungi and Mold. Fungal, mold, mildew, and other microbial development can result from condensation and water leak issues that occur in air ducts over time. These microorganisms can cause health problems or exacerbate pre-existing illnesses. By minimizing condensation around air ducts, insulation lowers the possibility of hazardous microorganism development.

Cut Down on Interior Noise. There are several strange noises that air may make when it moves through ductwork, including buzzing, whistling, and rattling. Metal ducts may expand in the winter as hot air passes through them, and they may constrict when the system is turned off. Noises like popping and creaking may result from this expansion and contraction. Although duct insulation functions as a damper to significantly lessen the volume of air-generated noise, it does not completely eradicate these noises.

Doing It Correctly

Energy codes require equipment efficiency for all HVAC units, and when it comes to duct insulation, sheet metal duct installation and construction must adhere to both the relevant energy code and the guidelines set forth by the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association (SMACNA). Engineers with specialized training, like those at CoolSys Energy Design, can assist in making sure your HVAC installation or retrofit project complies with all of these guidelines and requirements.

Concerning the Writers

Under the direction of Allan and Clive Samuels, Suresh Patel has approximately 25 years of expertise as a Senior Mechanical Designer at CED. He has decades of experience developing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. He holds an engineering diploma from Vapi, India. Suresh oversees the mechanical design section at the Princeton office and likes to teach aspiring engineers about HVAC systems in supermarkets and shopping malls. He likes to travel, garden, and spend time with his family when he’s not molding young brains.

At CoolSys Energy Design, a full-service mechanical, electrical, plumbing, refrigeration, and fire safety engineering company, Casey Sky Noon works as a business development coordinator. She is a proponent of strategies for climate mitigation and adaptation and is particularly interested in assisting buildings in being as environmentally friendly and energy-efficient as they can be, all the while lowering operating costs and optimizing comfort.

For more on maximizing energy savings and return on investment through interior design, please get in touch with Casey at [email protected] or (732) 309-8895. CoolSys Energy Design will be happy to assist you with upgrading or replacing the chillers, boilers, cooling towers, pumps, fan systems, and/or compressors in your buildings with the most economical and energy-efficient equipment on the market.