Maintaining your furnace is important in keeping your heating bills. Changing out your filter on schedule and having your furnace tuned regularly will help to heat your home quickly and efficiently, but if you ignore your ducts, your heating bills will not be what they should be. To get the most efficiency out of your furnace, you need to inspect your ducts, and if you find that they aren't insulated, you need to address the problem.
What Is the Problem with Uninsulated Ducts?
When ducts run outside the insulation envelope of your home, the outside air can affect the temperature of your ducts. During the winter, cold air can chill the ducts, and chilled ducts will, in turn, chill the air flowing through your ducts. The colder the air flowing through your ducts is, the longer it will take to heat your home, and the longer your furnace has to run. Even if you have a highly efficient furnace, running it for a long period of time will decrease your efficiency.
Adding Insulation to Your Ducts
You can insulate your ducts on your own by wrapping bats of fiberglass insulation around your ducts. The following steps will guide you through the process:
1. Use a tape measure to find the distance around the ducts.
2. Cut your bats of insulation with a utility knife so that they are two inches longer than the circumference of your ducts.
3. Next, wrap a bat of insulation around your duct and layer one end over the other.
4. Tape the top edge of insulation down to the underlying layer with duct tape.
5. Repeat this process with each subsequent layer of insulation, but layer two inches of insulation over the other previously applied layers of insulation.
You only have to insulate any stretches of your ducts that aren't inside your home's insulation. When checking your ducts for insulation, be sure to check your attic, your crawl space, any ducts that run through your unfinished basement, or through an unfinished or uninsulated garage. You don't have to worry about insulating any ducts that run inside the walls of your home because these are already protected by your home's insulation.
Sealing and insulating your ducts can improve your furnace efficiency by up to 20%. There is no reason to pay more to heat your home when you can easily fix uninsulated ducts on your own with a tape measure, a utility knife, and some duct tape. Contact Mitchell Plumbing & Heating Inc for more information.