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A duct sealant is a product that is used to fill in and close the seams and punctures in the ductwork used with most heating and cooling systems. The purpose of the sealant is to improve the efficiency of the unit by preventing the loss of hot or cold air from the ductwork. There are several different types of sealants, including tape, foam and aerosol products designed to create a tight seal that makes the system more efficient and more cost-effective.
There are several indications that the use of a duct sealant may be a good idea. This is especially true with air conditioning systems in both residential and commercial settings. Basically, if the room is too hot during the warm portion of the year, there may be cracks or leaks in the system that need to be sealed. At the same time, rooms that are too cold during the winter months may also be in need of treatment with some type of duct sealant.
One of the easiest types of duct sealant to use is mastic duct tape. Tape of this type can easily be used to seal around the junctions where sections of the ductwork join. Unlike some other methods, it is possible to apply the tape without spattering or other issues. Depending on the general climate, the tape may or may not adhere with the greatest degree of efficiency, making it necessary to replace it from time to time.
Another alternative with duct sealant is the use of some sort of aerosol product that can quickly be applied to the area of the puncture or over a seam. One of the benefits of this type of duct sealing compound is that it can often be applied in tight areas in which applying tape would be difficult. As the product settles, it helps to fill the gaps in the puncture or around the seam, effectively preventing the escape of air from the duct system while also preventing outside air from creeping into the ductwork.
Foam products are also a popular type of duct sealant. The foam can be successfully used when tape or aerosol products are not sufficient to manage the repairs needed to restore efficiency to the system. The foam can actually over the exterior of the ductwork, gradually solidifying into a shell that encases the entire section of the ductwork. Some products of this type will provide effective protection for the ducts for a number of years before another coating is required.
Keep in mind that a duct sealant can only accomplish so much. Severely damaged sections of ductwork may need to be replaced entirely. When that is the case, using some sort of sealant as part of the installation process will enhance the efficiency of the heating and cooling system, making it easier to enjoy a comfortable temperature inside while consuming less energy.