Insulating Ducts – How to Choose the Right Duct Insulation

Duct insulation is made to fit inside metal ducts that transport hot or cold air throughout the building. Insulating ducts is an excellent way to lower energy costs, prevent condensation and create more comfortable indoor environments. While it’s possible for an experienced home owner to perform the installation themselves, it’s often preferable to have a professional do the job.

There are several different types of insulation duct available on the market, including cellulose, fiberglass and mineral wool. Fiberglass is the most common, and can be purchased in preformed rolls that are easy to cut to size for a quick installation. Mineral wool is more costly, but it has superior thermal properties and offers better acoustic absorption than fiberglass. Both types of insulation duct are commonly used with rigid or flexible metal ductwork.

The most important consideration when selecting a type of insulation duct is the R-Value, or resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-Value, the more effective the insulation. In addition to thermal performance, a good quality insulation duct should be water resistant. This will help prevent mold and mildew growth within the ducts, which can carry spores into the rooms of your home or business. This can cause allergic symptoms, such as coughing and sneezing. Water resistance also helps protect the ducts from corrosion. If you are replacing an aging HVAC system, or installing a new commercial facility, it’s worth evaluating the cost-effectiveness of insulating existing ductwork.

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