Your quality of your work relies on your ability to produce an airtight bond on joints and seams.
What is full system closure?
Full system closure means your HVAC system is sealed properly, without any air leaks. This is the #1 goal for all HVAC maintenance and installation jobs. In order to ensure full system closure, an installer must identify all the spots in a system where air leaks could occur. Once these areas have been identified, the proper tape must be chosen to permanently seal the system.
Things to consider
- Application Technique: HVAC tapes are pressure-sensitive and require some type of force to create the bond to the surface. Without this pressure when the tape is applied, the system is susceptible to air leaks and failure. A squeegee can help the installer provide the proper amount of pressure. It’s also imperative when applying the tape not to overstretch it, as this could result in elongation — and that leads to air leaks.
- Environmental Conditions: Temperature, humidity and cleanliness of the area can affect the performance of your HVAC tape. If you’re working in cold temperatures, it’s imperative to select a tape that is cold-temperature approved. Removing dust, dirt and oils from the surface is also critical to the tape’s adhesion performance.
- Application Surface: What you are sealing also dictates the type of tape needed for the job. This may include aluminum duct work, sheet metal, Class 1 flex duct, insulated duct board or scrim-reinforced duct insulation. Some surfaces demand a specialized tape, so it’s important to get all the facts before you get started.
- Code Compliance: Tapes must pass a series of tests for adhesion level, shear strength and tensile strength as well as burn, mold and humidity resistance to achieve compliance status. Without the proper tape in place to meet specific building codes, the system may fail the inspection.
Tape characteristics to consider when selecting a tape:
- Permeability – The tape’s ability to keep contaminants from coming in and air from leaking out
- Adhesion – The tape’s ability to form a permanent and strong bond
- Conformability – The tape’s ability to be pressed around and onto irregular or non-smooth surfaces
- Tack – The tape’s ability to stick right away
- Strength – The tape’s ability to hold up to various applications; some applications demand maximum-strength performance
So, what are the consequences of using the wrong tape for the job?
If you use the wrong tape, any number of things can go wrong. Your system could become susceptible to air leaks and failure, and there could be indoor air quality concerns due to contaminants — leading it to fail inspection. It can also reduce the lifespan of your system and cause it to run more hours than necessary, leading to costly electric bills and call-backs to fix issues. And ultimately, it damages your reputation and leads to loss of business and tax incentives.
To find the perfect tape for your job, visit shurtape.com.