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How does HVAC tape choice impact Indoor Air Quality?

by | Jan 17, 2019 | HVAC Tape, Best Practices

There’s no denying the impact that an HVAC technician can make on a family or the employees of an organization when you consider the importance of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).

IAQ has a direct effect on our health – and poor indoor air quality can lead to health concerns more serious than allergies. It can cause headaches, congestion, asthma, fatigue, eye and throat irritation, and even respiratory diseases. That’s why having a properly functioning – and fully sealed – HVAC system is critical for the long-term health of residents and daily inhabitants of residential and commercial buildings.

The purpose of the modern HVAC system is not only to heat and cool air to comfortable temperatures, but to trap contaminants that are naturally present in stagnant air, such as dirt, dust, pollen, allergens, bacteria, and airborne disease-causing pathogens in order to prevent us from breathing them in. However, the system’s ability to do its job in trapping contaminants is dependent on it being a closed system – meaning that no air can escape through any ducts, seams, or connections. This is what we’re talking about when we mention Full System Closure. This is the number one goal for HVAC technicians when installing or doing maintenance on an HVAC system, and the tape they use to do the job can make the difference between success and failure.

HVAC tape is used to seal and seam each of the components of an HVAC system together, including the air handler, connections, rigid and flex duct, sheet metal, and other materials. If the tape is not properly applied, or if the wrong type of tape was used for the application, it can lead to tape failure – when the tape flags, falls, or fails to adhere properly to the application surface. HVAC tape failure causes air leaks in the system where contaminants that have been removed from the air are able to escape back into the indoor environment and wreak havoc on the lungs of its inhabitants. Therefore, IAQ is heavily impacted by the HVAC tape used to seal the system.

Since it holds such an important role, choosing the right tape for your application should always be a priority. When selecting, you should always consider the:

  • Sealing environment: Extreme temperatures and unconditioned spaces often call for a tape that is built to withstand the cold and continue to deliver performance as temperatures fluctuate. Likewise, the level of humidity and moisture that the tape will be subjected to is also important to consider, as lower quality tapes may not hold up in exceptionally humid climates.
  • Material being sealed: Some materials, such as reflective insulation, are often hard for some tapes to stick to. Likewise, certain tapes are designed for use on certain materials, whether flex duct, rigid duct, sheet metal or another substrate. Make sure to choose a tape that is labeled for use on the type of material you intend to use it on.

In addition to selecting the right tape for the job, you also need to make sure you are properly applying it in order to achieve an airtight, permanent seal. Squeegees are used to firmly wipe down the tape and create a secure bond without air bubbles to get full utilization of the tape’s adhesive.

Choosing and using tape to ensure high Indoor Air Quality doesn’t have to be a challenge – find a tape that delivers full system closure at Shurtape.com.

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