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Old 02-29-2012, 03:53 AM   #1
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Can "regular" insulation be used to wrap sheet metal ducts?


I've been doing a bit of work on my ducts to improve upon the horrific web of torn, crushed flex duct running all throughout my home. One thing that I've found surprising is the relatively high cost of "duct insulation" in comparison to the insulation sold for installation in wall and attic stud / joist spaces. Is there any significant difference in these two general categories of insulation or could the less expensive insulation (with much higher R-values) be used to wrap around sheet metal ducts?

Thanks in advance...

-Mason

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Old 02-29-2012, 07:42 AM   #2
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Can "regular" insulation be used to wrap sheet metal ducts?


I wrapped my ducts in standard r13 fiberglass roll insulation. In fact, I double insulated them with two layers. I also added a foil radiant barrier. over all result....... outstanding. 1 to 2 degree air temp change from the plenum to the farthest supply register. The ducts run in the really hot attic in Phoenix. The trick is to not compress the fiberglass. I used a combination of spray glue and a standard office type stapler. First, I spent an entire day with mastic and mesh to seal any and all leaks. I also made sure my ducts were supported so that I had 360 degree access to them. Then I sprayed some glue on the duct, wrapped the fiberglass, then stapled the kraft paper edges together, being very careful not to allow saggy insulation at the bottoms of the ducts, but also being carefull not to compress the fiberglass. Then I repeated the wrap and staple for the second layer over lapping any seams. Finally, I wrapped the whole monster in radiant barrier. Mine was fairly easy, as I was replacing flex duct with hard ducts at the time.

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Old 03-07-2012, 07:25 PM   #3
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Can "regular" insulation be used to wrap sheet metal ducts?


Thanks for the detailed reply, it's very reassuring to hear the results of someone actually using regular insulation in their own home with such great success.

I'm quite impressed with your attention to detail. I'm in Texas and am just starting a similar project - replacing my tangled flex duct nightmare spanning two attics with rigid ducts fabricated from fiber glass duct board, though a couple of spans are better served by metal ducts (hence my need to insulate the exterior).

Thanks!

-Mason
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