Best Ways to Insulate Ductwork in the Attic?

|| April 24, 2018

Are you looking for a greener, more energy efficient home? You can reduce energy use and optimize savings at home by adding or improving insulation in your attic.

Why insulate attic ducts?

HVAC ducts are commonly overlooked as a source of heat escape and waste, but it’s an easy fix that can save you energy and money in the long run. If ducts are not insulated, all the hot air running through them is forced to share its heat with the presumably colder surroundings. However, if the ducts are insulated, then the air that travels from throughout the house via attic ducts can retain its heat.  

What is the best way to insulate ductwork in the attic?

When it comes to attic ductwork insulation, you can follow a few steps to ensure that you aptly complete the task yourself.

Run the leaky duct test

First, you need to know whether or not your ducts are in need of insulation. Most ducts are not insulated. To test for cracks and leaks, it is best to hire a professional company to run a duct leak test. The test will identify precisely where ducts are operating least efficiently and where insulation is needed. The test includes a duct blower door test that scans the entire system for leaks. It is common to find leaks along the metal pipes that can be masked simply - possibly with as little as mastic sealant or metal tape. Lastly, you or the professional company will check for leaks in the space that rests between the ducts and the ceiling vents.

Check on the attic insulation

For duct insulation to do its job and save you money and energy, the attic itself needs to be adequately insulated. Depending on the age of your home, there is a chance that the attic is not insulated at all. If this the case, it needs to be insulated before working on the ducts. If your attic is currently insulated, ensure that the insulation sits above the rafters.

Insulate with blown-in cellulose

There are several products you can choose from as you move forward with attic and duct insulation. Depending on your specific needs, a professional team might recommend another product over blown-in cellulose.

If you proceed with blown-in cellulose, you can follow the steps below:

Measure for recommended insulation

Measure the depth of your insulation up to the ducts and consult an installer to find out how much insulation you will need.

Prepare the attic

Adequately prepare the attic space and insulation before moving forward with duct insulation.

Place ducts on rafters

Before insulating, all ducts should be lowered so that they are laying on top of the rafters. If you need help lowering the ducts, you can reach out to our professionals at Green Attic.

Get an insulation contractor’s opinion

Using an insulation contractor ensure that you get the most out of your insulation investment. Although it is possible to do on your own, it’s recommended that you outsource expert labor.

Install cellulose

Whether working with a professional team or insulating yourself, the cellulose insulation can be installed via machine and hose. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your particular materials of use.

Benefits of an insulated attic

Insulating the attic space and the attic ducts is a good way to save energy in your home. Insulation keeps the attic’s air a temperature that will pose less of a contrast to the heated (or cooled air) traveling throughout your home.

 To work with a team who is trained to understand the mechanics of your home and your specific needs, reach out to Green Attic.