Duct Tape and Ducts… Call 392-0022

Ducts

Duct tape is good for fixing everything, including sealing ducts, right?

No.

Late in 1998, scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley Nationa l Laboratory made a startling discovery — ever-popular duct tape was useful for hundreds and hundreds of tasks, but holding  ducts together wasn’t one of them.

Over three months, researchers tested  duct tape and 31 other sealants under accelerated laboratory conditions that mimicked long-term use in the home. They heated air to nearly 170 degrees  and chilled it to below 55 degrees before blasting it through ducts. They baked ductwork at temperatures up to 187 degrees to simulate the oven-like conditions  of a closed attic under a hot summer sun.

Of all the things they tested, only duct tape failed — and they reported it failed reliably and often quite catastrophically.

Instead of using duct tape, the researchers recommended sealing ducts with mastics, gooey sealants that are painted on and allowed to harden. Metal ducts should be held together with sheet metal  screws; flexible duct connections should be secured with metal or plastic bands.

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