When it comes to sealing air ducts in Miami Beach, FL, there are certain codes and regulations that must be followed. Tapes and putties used for metal and flexible air ducts and connectors must meet the UL 181B standard and bear the mark “181 B-FX for”. This is because duct leaks can have a major impact on the ventilation rate of a home, particularly in hot and humid climates. Homes with leaking ducts and air treatment systems located in spaces without air conditioning are especially vulnerable to increased infiltration rates. The construction industry has established codes for duct sealing and repair.
These standards dictate three different levels of duct sealing, depending on the type and location of the ducts. The ducts must pass industry-approved leak tests and must be sealed according to industry best practices. When ducts pass through unconditioned spaces, such as attics, mezzanines, garages, basements, and other places outside the heated or refrigerated parts of the house, they not only filter air to and from the outside, but also lose heat through conduction which is lost in the unconditioned space instead of heating or cooling the house. Ducts must be insulated according to the R-5 standard when they are inside the building envelope and with R-8 outside it. Additionally, they must be sealed according to low, medium or high pressure specifications.
This ensures that all sections of the ducts fit snugly together with no openings, holes or loose sections that could allow hot or cold air to escape. Research shows that up to a third of all air conditioning can escape through leaks in a conventionally sealed duct system. This means that when hot or cold air escapes, it is wasted without being used - resulting in a loss of energy and money. For detailed information on duct sealing requirements, consult these standards and check with your trusted local HVAC contractor. In general, duct sealing requires that sections of the duct network fit snugly together at joints and connections. Air leaks in the duct system can result in significant loss of energy and money, especially in larger commercial building systems.