Duct wrap, or ductwork insulation, is a cost-effective way to improve your home’s energy efficiency without replacing a functioning furnace or AC unit. For households looking for smart ways to lessen their environmental impact and lower their energy bill, ductwork insulation is an accessible and effective HVAC system upgrade.  

What Is Duct Wrap?

Duct insulation wrap is a flexible thermal barrier used to insulate sheet metal ductwork. Most duct wrapping is made from fiberglass. It comes in various thicknesses and densities. A thicker, denser wrap will typically provide additional insulation but won’t be as breathable, which may raise the risk of condensation buildup in some situations.

Duct wrap reduces heat gain or loss throughout your home’s ductwork. The goal of duct wrapping is to conserve energy. By narrowing the temperate difference between treated air inside the duct and air inside the room, HVAC systems run for shorter durations and less often, lowering energy requirements. You’ll also notice fewer hot or cold spots throughout the home, too!

Ductwork insulation also provides additional benefits, including:

  • Moisture control – Duct wrap reduces the difference in air temperature inside and outside the ductwork, thereby mitigating condensation. Homes in humid climates may still need to use a home dehumidifier to eliminate moisture buildup on ductwork.
  • Sound control – Duct wrap also softens sound transmission from home heating and cooling systems and between levels of the home.
  • Fire resistance – Most ductwork insulation is made from non-combustible materials.

When Is Insulation Required on Air Ducts?

Ductwork insulation requirements vary by municipality, state, and property type (residential vs. commercial). Your local One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning will help you determine which areas of your home need duct wrapping.

In general, ductwork should be insulated in three areas:

  1. Ductwork that runs outside (this is more common in industrial settings) or unconditioned interior parts of the home, like attics or crawl spaces.
  2. Ducts in an unconditioned basement ceiling or between floors.
  3. Duct joints should be insulated because they’re more likely to leak air.

Related: Is Duct Cleaning Worth It?

How to Insulate Air Ducts (and How We Can Help)

Experienced home DIYers can tackle duct wrapping themselves, but many homeowners will benefit from working with an insulation professional. An expert can select the right duct wrap thickness and density, purchase the material at a more competitive rate, and do a top-notch job installing insulation.

If you do want to tackle it yourself, always use:

  • A respirator or dusk mask
  • Goggles
  • Gloves and arm protection

If you’re up for a challenge, here’s how to install duct wrap in your home, step-by-step.

  1. Choose the insulation material. Start by selecting a foil-facing fiberglass insulation. We recommend using insulation with an R-value of 6 or higher to block heat transfer.
  2. Use the right duct tape. Most manufacturers recommend foil duct tape specially engineered to adhere to foil-faced insulation.
  3. Remove old insulation. Avoid layering insulation by removing an existing material from the duct. Carefully remove any residue, tape, and dust from the ductwork before applying your new insulation.
  4. Install the duct wrap. Use a tape measure to determine the length and width of each section of ductwork. Cut insulation into squares and tape into place. Make sure each section is snug without any gaps. Use tape to seal where two pieces of insulation come together and use small pieces to fill spaces near duct joints, registers, and the furnace or boiler system.

Is Duct Insulation Worth It?

Absolutely. Professionally wrapped ductwork could save you hundreds of dollars a year on home heating costs by reducing leaks and minimizing the temperature differences that lower HVAC efficiency. You’ll also notice fewer hot or cold spots and get more functional years from your home’s heating and cooling system.

Invest in Ductwork Insulation with Confidence

One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning offers a full range of insulation and energy efficiency services to help homeowners reduce their climate impact and lower their energy expenses. You can count on your locally-owned One Hour team for punctual and professional ductwork repair and insulation that delivers the cost-savings you’re looking for. Find a location near you or call (844) 770-8350 today to get started!