With a vibrant downtown, the Bengals, the Reds, the university and an exciting aquarium just across the river, Cincinnati is a terrific location. But the weather? Well, that can be all over the map — from hot and muggy, as it was last summer, to pretty darned chilly.
Keeping your home comfortable when temperatures are so extreme can get expensive. That’s why it’s smart to take energy-efficiency measures such as sealing your ductwork.
Compromised ductwork can cause you to lose as much as 20 percent of your conditioned air and lead to unwanted pressure imbalances. So it makes sense to shore up your ductwork, either as a DIY project or with the assistance of a qualified HVAC-system contractor. To do the job right, you need the right products, and in most cases that means mastic.
Mastic is a white substance that feels like peanut butter or mayonnaise. Before you use it, make sure all connections are secured with No. 8 sheet-metal screws. Spread the mastic over the seams, using your fingers (wear gloves), a small brush or a putty knife. You can seal small tears this way, too. For larger gaps, you’ll also need mesh reinforcement. The job is messy — wear work clothes.
Why not duct tape?
So are you surprised the job doesn’t call for duct tape? Truth is, standard cloth-backed duct tape isn’t heat resistant, and the adhesive won’t hold. As an alternative, some contractors use oriented polypropylene tape to secure the inner core of flex duct to metal collars. It’s a film-backed tape that has an acrylic adhesive that holds better than rubber adhesive. Some contractors are also using foil-backed butyl duct tape, which has a superior hold.
Although sealing ducts isn’t all that complicated, you may want to hire a professional to do the job. A professional can also discuss the advisability of insulating your ductwork.
To get the best advice about duct sealing or any other home-comfort issue, contact Apollo Home Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. Like you, we live in the Cincinnati area, and we’re committed to helping you realize energy savings throughout the year.
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"Ernie & Mike did a superb job on my new furnace and A/C installation. Despite having more than a day’s work to do, they came in and stayed until the job was done. They were organized, efficient, and protected the rest of the house well. Got both furnace and A/C installed the same day. Ernie was courteous, informative, and clearly knew his job better than anyone I’ve encountered before. The units look so good guests now get The Tour of our new system. Apollo is clearly not a fly-by-night company. I would recommend them to anyone in need of a new furnace and/or A/C."
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"We scheduled an estimate AND a tune-up. We knew something was wrong with our furnace, but hoped we could make it through the rest of the season. Upon telling Bill what our furnace was doing, he warned us immediately what the possible outcome was going to be; a cracked heat exchanger. He watched the flames roll backward, tested carbon monoxide levels, which were so high they meter’s last reading was 5,600 before saying “high”. He immediately shut it down, tagged it, and explained that with levels that high and children in our home he wanted off right away. He continued his inspection and showed us via a camera that not only was it cracked in multiple places, but had holes all over it. He gave us a few options for repairing it; his knowledge as well as genuine concern was beneficial and refreshing. Luckily we also scheduled an estimator, Micah, to come too and we were able to get costs between repairing and replacing (with several options). We decided to replace with a much higher efficiency furnace and one sized properly to our home. Hands down, not only did they both provide us great service and knowledge, but without sounding dramatic, they may have saved our lives. This was our first time calling Apollo, but it won’t be our last."
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