Don’t Use Duct Tape for Ducts | Columbia Heating and Cooling Portland, Oregon
Written by Columbia HVAC

Don’t Use Duct Tape for Ducts

Duct tape is often the go-to solution to fix just about anything. This is perhaps best exemplified in a phrase coined by bestselling authors, the Duct Tape Guys: “It ain’t broke, it just lacks duct tape.” But when it comes to sealing air ducts, using duct tape is one of the worst possible solutions.

In an experiment performed by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a 3-month test was conducted to conclude if duct tape could hold up to conditions found in common air ducts. Researchers simulated air duct conditions using both hot and cold temperatures and discovered that duct tape would either allow too much air to escape, or would just fall off after a short period of time.

Why didn’t duct tape make the grade? Duct tape is made from a plastic or polyethylene top coating, cloth or gauze-like material in the center, and a rubber-based, pressure sensitive adhesive on the base. This adhesive can be quickly degraded by extreme temperatures, particularly heat.

Air ducts are an important part of your HVAC system because they work to distribute air throughout your house. Having properly sealed air ducts is even more important. According to Energy Star, a typical home can lose about 20-30% of circulated air due to leaks and holes. This loss of air can cost you significantly on your energy bills and compromise the comfort of your home.

Improving duct performance is fairly simple and involves sealing or repairing existing air ducts with mastic sealant or metal tape – not duct tape. The best solution for improving ductwork in your home is to work with a professional contractor, like Columbia Heating and Cooling. We have the experience and know-how to repair leaky ductwork. Contact us today to get started!