This article was written by Meghan Reilly, Sales Team Member at Thermaxx Jackets
Thermal insulation is a great way to minimize energy loss in ducts.
Insulating ducts helps the air within stay at the desired temperature. It also prevents the ducts from leaking air. Ducts which leak air can result in greater energy consumption and expensive utility bills
Heat loss through the duct walls is an expected and inevitable drain on the system. Effective thermal insulation of the ductwork reduces this heat loss and helps to minimize energy usage.
If you have AC, insulating ducts is not only for energy efficiency. Cool air passing through warm areas of a building can cause condensation and dripping, which can lead to mold growth and safety issues such as falls. Uninsulated AC ducts are also at risk of becoming rusted or stained, due to condensation on the metal.
Should return ducts be insulated?
The school of thought used to be that return ducts only need to be insulated if they pass through an area where the ambient temperature will negatively affect the temperature of the returned air. However, in recent years, U.S. department of energy codes (ASHRAE 90.1-2007 and 2010) indicates that returns should in fact be insulated, though not usually with the same insulation thickness as the supply. For more information, click here.
What types of duct insulation are there?
The most popular material used for heating and cooling ducts is fiberglass. Fiberglass duct insulation is available in various thicknesses. There is flexible duct wrap as well as rigid insulation board. The type of insulation that is used depends on the size and shape of your duct, your budget, and your application.
Examples of Traditional Insulation Material Spec Sheets:
- Microlite® EQ DS HVAC-448: Formaldehyde-free TM Fiber Glass Duct Wrap Insulation
- 800 Series Spin-Glas®: Fiber Glass Duct and Equipment Insulation
Using removable insulation blankets to insulate ducts?
Air ducts that reside in facility clean rooms and other sterile environments, often need to be inspected for corrosion. This is a perfect application for a Thermaxx removable jacket. Not only can our jackets be used to reduce energy costs, but they can also be used for noise reduction. Thermaxx jackets can reduce the transference of HVAC noise through the duct system. They can also help to lessen room to room sound through the ducts.