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Factors to Consider When Choosing an HVAC Tape

by | Mar 31, 2022 | HVAC Tape

How do you know which HVAC tape is right for the job?

Specific conditions and parameters must be considered before determining which tape to use. Using an incorrect tape can lead to an improperly sealed system as well as code violations.

Application Environment

The application environment greatly affects the performance of the tape. This means temperature, humidity and even how clean the job site is must be considered. If a tape can’t be used in cold temperatures, you’ll have a problem working with certain tapes adhering to the substrate. It’s best to choose a tape that is engineered for the application and temperature range to achieve the desired results.

High Conformability

You also want your HVAC tape to have high conformability. This is the ability of the tape to wrap around or onto rough and uneven surfaces. A tape with high conformability will help achieve tighter seals in many cases which will result in a full system closure.

Rigid ducts

For rigid ducts, the standard UL 181A-P is used. In order to be classified as UL 181A-P, HVAC tapes must:

  1. Have a minimum width of at least 2.5 inches
  2. Be made of aluminum alloy foil or aluminum
  3. Include a release liner

Class 1 Flexible ducts

For Class 1 Flexible Ducts, UL 181B-FX is the industry standard. This tape certification should only be used on Class 1 Flexible ducts. To be certified, tape must:

  1. Be made of foil, film or cloth
  2. Have a maximum width of 1.88 inches


The third characteristic is adhesion. HVAC tapes must have high adhesion levels, which ensures the tape will form a permanent bond to the surface. Your tape also must possess a high tack to ensure the tape will stick to the surface immediately upon application.

Building Codes

Additionally, consider the building code of the area where you are working. If you are sealing an HVAC system, the building code will dictate which type of tape you should be using. Most building codes for HVAC defer to UL listings. UL testing ensures the tape has proper adhesion and sheer strength to stay in place permanently. UL listed tapes will also ensure your work passes inspection.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) qualification is also a major consideration, especially as municipal, state, and national building codes often specify materials that qualify for LEED points from the US Green Building Council. Even if the job doesn’t require LEED qualified products, that should still be a consideration, as using LEED certified products can impact rebates and tax incentives.

To find the perfect HVAC tape for your job, visit shurtape.com.

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