Duct Insulation - Solving Condensation, Heat and Cold Problems
Insulation on Ducts must Protect from Condensation, Radiant Heat and Cold.
Prodex Total Duct Insulation = Insulation + Radiant Barrier + Vapor Barrier All in One Product. One solution to Cold, Heat and Condensation - You'll be warm in winter, cool in summer and dry all the time.
13/64 inch (approx. 3/16") - 5mm closed cell polyethylene foam covered on both sides with .0012 inch (0.03mm) aluminum foil facing.
Condensation - Prodex Total prevents condensation and also acts as a vapor barrier on duct surfaces.
Condensation occurs when warm air strikes a cold surface such as a duct carrying cooled air from a central air conditioner. Warm air can carry more moisture than cold air. So when warm, moisture laden air comes in contact with the cold metal surface of the duct, the air will cool. Any excess moisture that the cooler air can no longer hold will condense into droplets. Once the water vapor becomes actual water, it not only oxidized the metal, but it also has the potential to drip and cause rot, mold and fungus growth that will degrade the surrounding building materials.
Radiant Heat - Prodex Total prevents radiant heat transfer.
Radiation is the movement of infra-red energy through air or a vacuum. All surfaces above Absolute Zero emit radiation to different degrees including a stove, a ceiling and fiberglass insulation. Radiation energy travels outward from a source in all directions at near light speed until it is absorbed by a body in its path, whereupon it is transformed into kinetic energy - or heat - within the intervening body. When this energy strikes the dense surface of a duct, it is absorbed and increases the temperature of the duct. This forces you to spend more money to cool your building or home.
Cold - The Prodex Total R-value is unaffected by humidity. You need an insulation that doesn't lose its thermal protection (like fiberglass) when you need it most - Cold damp conditions!
Cool temperatures turns the metal sheeting on ducts cold. This cools the air causing you to use more energy to heat the home or building.
Drawbacks to Using Fiberglass Insulation on Ducts
One of the biggest drawbacks of using fiberglass batt insulation is its vulnerability to moisture. When ducts experience condensation, moisture collects in the fiberglass, causing it to pack and lose its insulating value. In addition, during the wrapping process of insulation, the fiberglass is pulled tight around corners causing packing which interferes with the ability of the fiberglass to achieve full insulating R-value. Fiberglass batt insulation must be carefully installed and kept dry to maintain its stated R-value. The other major drawback of using fiberglass batt insulation is that it has no effect on radiant heat transfer. The difficulty of maintaining loft during installation, protecting against moisture, and preventing breathable fibers from coming into contact with workers have lead experts to recommend alternatives, such as Prodex Total to be used as duct wrap.
Take a look at the white vinyl facing on a duct. It will be either sagging, or sagging and flaking. This is due to the added weight of water. Behind the white vinyl is a wet, mold filled blanket that will eventually cause the white vinyl to crack and fall off. At some point, when you're exposed to the toxic fibers, you'll be forced to remove the insulation - Hopefully before it does too much damage to the duct.
We repeat - You need an insulation that doesn't lose its thermal protection (like fiberglass) when you need it most - Cold damp conditions!
Where To Install Duct Insulation
Insulate ducts located on roofs and on unconditioned spaces like the attic, garage, crawlspace or unfinished basement. Air ducts supply conditioned air from heating or air conditioning equipment into the living spaces of your home. These ducts are usually made out of thin sheet of metal that easily conduct heat. Air ducts can lose energy in three ways: by conduction of heat through contact of the material with the surrounding air, by radiation as all materials radiate energy, and by leaking through cracks and seams. According to the US Department of Energy, "Due to extreme winter and summer temperatures in unconditioned spaces, 10 to 30 percent of the energy used to heat and cool the air is lost to conduction through the duct surfaces."
Benefits To Prodex Duct Insulation
- Reduced energy bills
- Prevents 97% of radiant heat keeping radiant energy away from the duct.
- Reflects escaping radiant heat back inside the duct.
- Prevents condensation
- Provides protection from moisture (vapor barrier)
- Reduces noises and vibrations
- Safer for workers to install than fiberglass -there are no fibers to breath or cause skin or eye irritation.
- Nontoxic and non-carcinogenic - does not irritate the skin, eyes, or throat and contains no substances which will out-gas
- Increases energy efficiency of heating and cooling equipment by reducing the equipment work load.
- Seals around nails (no leaks)
- Keeps its thickness over time (doesn't collapse)
- Does not promote mold or mildew
- Does not provide for nesting of rodents, birds or insects