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4 Key Benefits of Duct Insulation

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Duct Insulation
Commercial properties tend to have much larger physical footprints than residential properties. As a result, commercial buildings generally require more powerful HVAC systems. In addition, commercial buildings also require more extensive duct systems. These duct systems often play a large role in building-wide energy inefficiency.

Uninsulated ducts may also create other problems for your building, driving up maintenance and repair costs. If you own a commercial property and would like to learn more about how to tighten your building's energy envelope, keep reading. This article takes a closer look at four crucial benefits of duct insulation.

1. Better Energy Efficiency

A duct system delivers both cold and hot air to the various rooms of your building. In some cases, ducts pass through the climate-conditioned portions of a building. In other cases, installation contractors route ducts through unconditioned spaces. This strategy allows designers to maximize the amount of usable space, while hiding unaesthetic ducts.

Ducts that travel through unconditioned portions of a building are a common source of energy inefficiency — especially if those ducts lack insulation. The greater the temperature difference between the inside and the outside of the duct, the greater your energy loss. The duct ends up functioning like an unintended heat exchanger, reducing the effectiveness of conditioned air.

Insulating sections of unconditioned ducts minimizes energy loss. Hot air stays hotter, and cold air stays colder en route to the rooms of your building. As a result, you will likely notice significant reductions in your energy costs.

2. Less HVAC Wear and Tear

The efficiency loss of uninsulated ducts affects more than just your bottom line. The air that ends up in the rooms of your building has also lost much of its conditioning. That air simply isn't as cold — or as hot — as intended. As a result, your HVAC equipment works overtime trying to make up the difference.

Longer run times increase the amount of wear your air conditioner and furnace experience. Overheating, component failure, and burnouts may ensue. If nothing else, you will find yourself spending more money on maintenance. Insulating your ducts allows you to get the most from your HVAC equipment, while minimizing the strain placed on the system.

3. Lower Risk of Mold

The temperature difference between the inside and outside of an uninsulated duct often leads to an increased moisture content. Moisture issues can become especially problematic in winter. As hot air flows through the system, the cold air on the other side of the duct causes some of the water vapor present in the air to condense.

Such condensate can lead to serious forms of water damage if the problem goes on too long. Moreover, that moisture provides the ideal breeding ground for mold and mildew. As mold colonies thrive, the air passing through the duct carries spores into the rooms of your building. Allergies, asthma, and other health problems may ensue.

Insulating your ducts cuts down on the rate of moisture formation by limiting heat transfer. The drier your ducts, the less likely you are to suffer from mold and mildew problems.

4. Better Noise Control

Metal ducts often act as unintended echo chambers. The stiff walls and empty interiors allow sound waves to bounce around all your building. Noises created by your HVAC system often remain audible in rooms on the far side of your building. Insulating your ducts greatly reduces the transmission of sounds.

When selecting your insulation, pay close attention to its sound transmission coefficient — or STC rating, for short. The STC rating expresses how well a particular material insulates against sound waves. A higher rating indicates a greater ability to reduce unwanted noises.

Duct insulation benefits a building in numerous ways. For more information about the best way to insulate the ducts in your commercial property, please contact Chattanooga's experts at Breeding Insulation Company.