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Why is there duct tape on my air ducts?


Last year, my daughters asked for duct tape for Christmas. This was a highly unusual request, as all I knew about duct tape was that it was silver, and it held pretty much everything together. Besides that, I had never considered it to be a useful toy, or something that an 8-year-old, or 10-year-old girl would be interested in. Come to find out, there are now hundreds of options for duct tape colors, designs, and characters. This is all in an effort to provide young people with the means to create their own purses, wallets, hair bows, ink pen add-ons, and even clothing.

Now, to most grown people, one use for duct tape is to apply it to air ducts in order to hold it together, or to reduce the amount of air leaking from the ducts. This is also the case for many heating and cooling contractors.

However, in an ideal world, there should be no duct tape used on an installation of a furnace. Sealant of some sort should be expected (or required), but this can often be found in the form of a caulk. This type of sealant can be applied in a small line, rather than the seemingly obnoxious application of the aforementioned duct tape. Check out this website to see more about why duct tape shouldn’t be used to seal air ducts.

How many times have you seen old duct tape hanging from the duct, because it had lost its effectiveness? How many times have you thought that the duct tape hanging from your duct work looked like a fly-catcher, rather than what it was supposed to be utilized for?

To answer your question, “Why is there duct tape on my air ducts?” I would say that there shouldn’t be. There are exceptions to this statement, but, for the most part, your heating and cooling contractor should be able to provide an installation crew with the knowledge of sheet metal extensive enough to eliminate the need for the silver tape that we, unfortunately, have grown accustomed to.

The advantages of NOT using the duct tape include:

  • Better airflow, provided by a smoother transition from duct to duct.
  • Aesthetics: No one likes the look of duct tape that has been sloppily applied.
  • Permanence: Duct tape’s stickiness wears out over time. Metal work doesn’t.

There are other, unique, reasons that the use of duct tape should be minimized. Many HVAC technicians, installation crews, or sales people can help you with these reasons.

If you have any other questions about this topic, please don’t hesitate to call Thermal Services, at 402.397.8100.


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