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A Better Alternative to Duct Tape for Sealing Ductwork

While its name may imply that duct tape is designed for taping gaps and joints in your home’s ductwork, there are better options than the old jack-of-all-trades grey tape.
Research by the U.S. Department of Energy found that duct tape actually degrades in a relatively short period of time. Heat causes the adhesive on the tape to weaken, which can cause it to loosen, allowing air to escape.

Alternatives to Duct Tape

A better alternative to duct tape for sealing metal and flexible ductwork is duct mastic. Mastic is a soft, non-hardening material similar to caulking. Because it doesn’t dry out and harden, it stays pliable as the metal expands and contracts. Applying mastic is not as convenient as duct tape, it’s messy and larger gaps should be filled with fiberglass mesh before applying the mastic. Importantly, mastic is not a mechanical fastener, ducts will need to be secured together with sheet-metal screws. Also, high quality duct tape should still be used to seal holes in a furnace or air handler.

Creating a tighter, more reliable seal with mastic will pay off in the long run in less air loss. Have questions about your home’s ducts or ventilation system? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing & Air Conditioning, we’re here to help.

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