The key to success is being prepped for the job. For their fifth challenge, the Mission: HVAC students had to think like pros and tell us about the tapes they want in their toolboxes to help them get the job done. With options like HVAC foil and film tapes to duct and electrical tapes…the possibilities were endless. Check out the tapes they want to have on-hand to tackle the job:
Blake Hodge: My Five Tapes for the Job
In the HVAC world, tape plays a major role in sealing duct systems, connecting pipe, covering wires, and so much more. Without tape, many jobs would become more complicated and not get done as quickly. Here are five types of tape I think are a necessity to any job and how I expect them to perform when used.
- Foil Tape – Foil tape works great for taping seams and joints on ductwork. By taping the seams and joints with foil tape, you greatly reduce air loss within the ductwork, resulting in better airflow and less cost to the customer.
- Duct Tape – Duct tape is known to be a “fix it all” tape among homeowners. What many do not know is how applicable it is in the HVAC field. Duct tape is used to put together dryer vents, hook flexible duct to exhaust fans or fittings, and much more. (just make sure the duct tape is approved for your intended use!)
- Electrical Tape – Electrical tape is not only great for electricians, but is also great for HVAC service techs and installers. It is used as a bandage to cover wires that may have coating peeled and tape ends of exposed wires during service or installation. At the company I work for, we also use electrical tape to tie thermostat wire to the 3/8” copper liquid line when running new linesets.
- Foil Tape with Mastic – Like regular foil tape, this tape is used to seal ductwork and reduce air loss. This tape is much stickier and works better for any outdoor application or bigger gaps. I expect this type of tape to hold on longer than traditional foil tape and seal the ducts better.
- Insulation Tape – Insulation tape is used to hold duct insulation together when applied. This type of tape has plastic strings within it for maximum strength and durability. When wrapping duct with insulation, use this type of tape to seal joints and ensure the insulation stays together.
Beyond what tapes, what do I expect? I expect all the types of tape I use to be durable and strong. If there is any question whether the tape will hold or not, the tape is not good enough. I also ensure that all types of tape I am using are UL listed in order to be sure it is good quality. UL listed tapes are almost always required and an inspector may fail your work if you do not use them.
Overall, tape is a great tool to have in your arsenal. With all the great choices of tape on the market, it is hard to not find one for any application. People may think taping seams is repetitive and unnecessary, but it does greatly affect airflow and energy use in buildings and homes. Tape has made many advancements over time and I believe it will keep getting better.
Michael Clemons: The Tapes I Rely Upon
In the classrooms and in the field, we use a lot of tools. Some very specific to a singular task like a refrigerant manifold and others, for general purpose use.
One of the most useful and diverse tools we use daily is tape. There are many different types and styles of tape, but they all serve a specific purpose.
For example, the most common one I use almost daily is electrical tape. I use it for protecting the spades on a capacitor when I feel it might have a chance to short to the case of a condenser.
Another common tape that I use often is foam tape, which I use when I come across a suction line the homeowner would like to have re-covered.
My van is stocked with a variety of tapes. I carry electrical tape, which I expect to stick to whatever I apply it to and to hold up over time. I carry foam tape, which I expect to stick to copper tubing. And, I also carry chrome tape. It works in a pinch whenever I need to patch up a small hole or fix a small leak in duct work. And, of course, no matter what trade you’re in, you can always find a roll of duct tape somewhere.
No matter which brand or type I use, I always expect my tape to work for me and not cause me any troubles.
Brenan Vogt: HVAC Tools to Get the Job Done Right
Being an HVAC service tech, lots of tools and knowledge are needed in order to get the job done right. One of the more important things to have stocked on your van at all times is tape. Although it may not be an obvious requirement, tape is very essential, weather it be to cover a gap in ductwork, tape a wire to avoid an electrical short, and we’ve all used electrical tape as a bandaid to prevent bleeding all over the customer’s house!
There are 5 tapes that I think are necessary to have in your tool bag being a tech. The first, being the most obvious is electrical tape. Electrical tape has many uses, but it is something that will be used daily, if not close to daily. The next most important is foil tape. Foil tape is commonly used to prevent air leakages through ductwork seams. I’ve used double faced tape, for mounting various things like transformers, etc. Another tape that I’ve used is masking tape so that I’m able to write on it without leaving any marks on the equipment itself. Those are the 4 main tapes I use, unless we are including tape measures!