The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Duct Sealant

Learn about the best alternative to duct sealant and how to properly seal your air ducts for improved efficiency and indoor air quality.

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Duct Sealant

As an expert in the field of HVAC, I have seen firsthand the importance of properly sealed duct systems. Not only does it prevent duct leaks, but it also significantly improves indoor air quality. However, with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the best product for keeping ducts hermetically sealed. In my experience, there are two popular options that stand out: duct putty and adhesive tape (or aluminum tape).While both putty sealant and aluminum foil tape are effective in sealing air ducts, it's important to note that adhesive tape should never be used for this purpose.

Despite its name, duct tape simply doesn't hold up. While it may seem like a quick and easy fix, it's actually more expensive and less durable in the long run. When it comes to choosing the best alternative to duct sealant, I highly recommend using mastic air duct sealant. This sticky material hardens once it is placed in the ducts, creating a strong and long-lasting seal. However, the ideal alternative is a water-based putty sealant, which is not only easy to clean but also has a longer lifespan.

Applying a duct sealant with putty is a simple process that can be done with just a brush, making it a great option for DIY enthusiasts. It's important to note that duct putty sealant should not be confused with the normal “duct seal”. While both products have similar names, they serve different purposes. Duct seal is typically used to cover gaps around power lines and other small openings outside of a property. On the other hand, duct sealant is specifically designed for use in leaking ducts.

It is a soft compound that resembles a mass and is easy to use and install. Originally developed for HVAC purposes, duct sealant creates a seal that blocks moisture, dust, and air movement. It can also be used to reduce noise. This material is non-conductive, non-corrosive, and will never dry out, making it easy to remove, reshape, and reapply when needed. While duct sealant is primarily used to seal air leaks, it can also be used for other purposes such as blocking leaks in pipes.

However, its applications in plumbing are somewhat limited compared to its uses in electrical or HVAC work. Plumbers may use duct sealant when working with appliances such as washing machines, refrigerators, or dishwashers. It can be used to protect areas with electrical connections or to ensure that outlets and switches are safe from nearby water sources. If you do choose to use duct sealant for plumbing purposes, make sure to use aluminum tape, butyl tape, or any other type of duct sealing tape that has the UL emblem on it. Properly sealed duct systems are essential for maintaining the correct pressure and volume of air flow throughout a system.

If you have duct leaks and want to repair them, there are several methods for sealing duct ventilation grilles that you can try. To reduce air loss and increase energy efficiency, it is recommended to seal all joints and add insulation around ducts, especially in spaces without air conditioning. While a professional technician will be able to seal all of the duct system's leaks (even inaccessible parts), there are steps you can take on your own to improve efficiency and indoor air quality. One of the best options for DIY enthusiasts is using duct putty to seal duct vents. However, this can prove to be a difficult task without proper access to the ducts.

During a cleaning procedure, we can help access the ducts to detect any leaks as long as the duct is not completely closed. While this method of sealing ventilation duct leaks is less time-consuming and less messy, it may not be as effective or long-lasting as other duct sealing methods. Although adhesive tape used to be the go-to sealant for ducts, it has since been replaced by more effective options such as MTS 100 or DP 1010, both of which are water-based. Just like wind, which is air moving from an area of higher pressure to an area of lower pressure, air works the same way in ducts. This is why it's important to choose a sealant that can withstand the pressure and movement of air within the ducts. When there are hidden leaks behind drywall, it can be virtually impossible to use putty sealing for ducts on your own, especially in hard-to-reach areas.

In these cases, it's best to consult a professional who has the tools and expertise to properly seal the ducts and improve overall efficiency and indoor air quality.

Candice Fedak
Candice Fedak

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