Why Duct Tape Isn’t Actually for HVAC Air Ducts

Why Duct Tape Isn’t Actually for HVAC Air Ducts

There are a few items out there that are extremely curiously named, and one great example within the home improvement area is duct tape. While this sort of tape is highly useful and should be kept around by all homeowners, it isn’t actually meant for use within HVAC air ducts – and can cause significant issues if it is used in these areas.

At Airtime Heating & Cooling, we’re happy to offer a wide range of HVAC services, from precision tune-ups to furnace or air conditioner repair and replacement. We’re also happy to provide tips and expertise on any related area here – such as why duct tape, while useful in many other areas, should not be used for air duct leaks or other similar concerns. Here’s a quick primer on this realm.

Duct Tape Discovery and History

You can trace the history of duct tape back to World War I, around which time it was created with the original purpose of sealing ammunition boxes. Its original name was “duck” tape, likely because it was backed with duck cloth in its first iterations.

Sometime in the 1950s, though, the name shifted to duct – largely due to the mistaken assumption that this tape was used for ductwork sealing. However, this was never the case, and this product was never meant for this purpose. Modern tests have repeatedly shown that duct tape reacts poorly to heat and various fluctuations in temperature, making it unfit for any kind of use in your HVAC system.

Legal Status for Ducts

Beyond the simple impracticality of using duct tape in HVAC areas, there are many states where this practice is outright illegal based on building code. Such codes generally prohibit using duct tape for any holes, cracks or gaps in air ducts, both due to problems with performance and the fact that duct tape is flammable and may be impacted poorly by dirt.

Mess and Durability

In addition, duct tape adhesive – which regularly gets stuck to areas of your system – is no fun to deal with. It can be baked in by the high temperatures and glom up several areas.

Duct tape also doesn’t create a solid seal, perhaps the single largest reason not to use it in these situations. This is due to both material quality and commonly poor application.

Professional Duct Sealing

For these reasons and more, it’s important to call on professionals when there are issues with your air ducts. Our team will recommend the ideal cost-effective repairs, plus offer you tips on how to avoid these concerns moving forward.

For more on why you should not use duct tape for air duct leaks or related HVAC areas, or to learn about any of our HVAC repairs or other services, speak to the staff at Airtime Heating & Cooling today.