Tape failure is unfortunately not an uncommon occurrence on reflective insulation projects for HVAC ductwork. Reflective insulation is a great way to reduce energy costs, but its ability to do so is dependent on the achievement of full system closure, in which tape plays a key role. Often times, duct systems with reflective insulation are located in unconditioned spaces, subject to the weather extremes of hot and cold. When tape is exposed to the conditions of these attics and crawlspaces, it can potentially lose its ability to provide full system closure.
Thermal cycles, or the gradual changing from hot to cold and back again as the seasons change have a major impact on the durability of the tape that is used to seal that HVAC unit. Tapes that are not engineered to withstand multiple thermal cycles tend to shrink up in the heat and become brittle in the cold, often leading to failure. Reflective insulation tape needs to stand up against the heat of the Summer, the mild temperatures of Spring and Autumn, and the cold of Winter.
When selecting an HVAC tape for use on reflective insulation, be sure to find one that produces a permanent seal and can withstand thermal cycles.
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