Insulating your heating ducts

Last updated on March 10th, 2024 at 03:30 pm

Cost: $8 and up
Estimated Effort: 10 minutes
Approximate Savings: 10% or more

If your furnace is located in an unheated area like an unfinished basement, you might already have guessed that a lot of heat can potentially be lost in the ducts themselves. Between the furnace itself and the vents, even with no holes in the ducts, some estimate that as much as 15 – 30% of the heat from your furnace can be lost when it travels through an unheated area like a basement.

That’s a lot of heat loss!

If you could somehow reduce this, and make as much of the heat in the ducts as possible reach the rooms of your home, you’d be better off.

And luckily, there is something you can do about it, to help cut down on the heat that is lost.

Sometimes, it will require expert or contractor work to install insulation on your heating or cooling ducts. Most of the time, though, you can actually do the work yourself and save a lot of money, both in heating costs and in labor fees for the contractor or HVAC expert.

Let’s get started!

  1. First, clean off the ducts. Make sure they are free of debris and dust.
  2. Check the ducts in sight for leaks, using the previous repair instructions / tips. Make the repairs as necessary.
  3. Make sure you have the proper duct insulation. I bought a 15 foot roll of duct insulation for about $8 at Home Depot.
  4. The shiny side will face outwards, while the lighter, fiberglass side will face the duct.
  5. Wrap the duct with the insulation.
  6. Secure the insulation with good strong duct tape or insulation tape. Many will tell you to use the insulation tape, but if it costs too much you should be able to use the duct tape with no problems.

That’s pretty much it! Simple, and affordable. I did all my ducts in the basement for about $40.

The best news is you can feel the difference pretty much immediately. The rooms heat up faster, and the furnace is on for less time.

3 thoughts on “Insulating your heating ducts

  1. Great article! Cleaning your filter, and checking the ducts for damage is very important. I would add, getting good foam insulation is key – you can save about 40% in heating costs.

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