As the high temperatures across the country start to set records, what steps have you taken to reduce the amount of money being spent to cool your home? For many, the answer is insulating the attic, basement, and garage. While insulating these areas will definitely help you cut costs, there is another area that can easily be forgotten: ducts. According to Energy Star, ducts that are leaking air can easily release up to 20 percent of conditioned air flowing through them. This leads to energy loss, a less efficient cooling system, and higher energy costs. Applying duct mastic, whether tape or putty, for sealing ducts helps take care of all of these problems at the same time.
A simple way to go about sealing ducts is through the use of mastic tape. The tape can be applied to flexible duct, fiberglass duct board, and metal ducts, including stainless, galvanized, and aluminum. It can be used indoors or outdoors, as it is weatherproof and able to withstand temperatures as high as 200 degrees Fahrenheit to as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Duct Mastic Bucket
Another tool that is used for sealing ducts is the duct mastic, a fibrous adhesive sealant that has the consistency of putty, allowing it to be malleable. It can be used on ducts that lack insulation as well as for coating of thermal insulation on ducts and pipes. Like the mastic tapes, this sealant has the ability to withstand extreme temperatures. The duct mastic is non-flammable, non-toxic, and dries completely within 30 minutes of application.
Once ducts have been sealed, the problem of losing conditioned air through this source will be eliminated. Limiting the amount of pressure put on the cooling system in this way helps increase its efficiency and possibly its shelf life. The reduction in energy loss added to the increased efficiency of the cooling system leads to less money being spent during the summer months to cool the home. When less money is necessary to cool the home, you have more money to budget however you would like.