AC Houston and Insulating Your Ducts
In considering the insulation of any existing ductwork, home and business owners may certainly encounter the very same problems. Common insulation problems deal with grade and type of insulation materials, zoning insulation requirements and the location of the ductwork. Existing ductwork may have to be relocated in order to effectively solve underlying ductwork and insulation issues.
Ground Level Ductwork and Slab Grade Foundation Ductwork
Homes and businesses that are built on slab-grade foundations in the construction industry are considered relatively low-cost constructions. This is because excavation and construction are generally faster to complete with slab style foundation homes and businesses. The problem with slab grade foundation buildings is that the ductwork is generally buried underground, unless there is a crawlspace foundation. Improper insulated ductwork is almost always the culprit found in this type of building structure. Under-slab foundation insulation can become costly repairs and hinder plans for upgrades like a radiant heating floor system.
The problem of insulating underground ductwork stems from environmental factors of soil content and soil moisture and groundwater content, which can break down insulation, no matter the grade type. These ductwork breakdowns create favorable moldy conditions and increase the chances of Radon gases building up. Potential slab style foundation home and business buyers should request a detailed and up-to-date history of the building’s underground ductwork, and type of insulation on the ductwork, before investing in the building.
A viable solution to bypassing costly repairs to existing heating and cooling ductwork buried underground, would be to move the home’s ductwork into an attic or an overhead crawlspace. An estimate for sealing off the existing foundation ductwork should be obtained first before any major decisions are taken. Other options include a “through-the-wall unit”, a system in which a combination of heating and air conditioning is used. This type of heating and cooling system does not need ductwork, therefore is a cost-effective solution for out-of-date and deteriorating slab grade foundation ductwork.
Insulations for Attic and Basement Ductwork
Homeowners and business owners who have existing ductwork in attics and high ceiling crawlspaces need to know the insulation zoning factors requirements for their climate when it comes to insulation. Regardless of the blown-in or laid down, insulation is recommended for any ductwork systems in the attic, crawl space and basement areas. The problem with attic, high ceiling crawlspaces and basement ductwork insulation, is the moisture and condensation buildups which happen with extreme cold and hot climate changes.
The solution for attic ductwork and high ceiling crawlspaces insulation issues is to add some form of air conditioning to circulate in the area. Sending out cold air to cool down the square footage of a building is not energy efficient, if the source of cold air is traveling from poorly insulated ductworks in a poorly ventilated attic.
Basement homeowners and business owners should install a digital hygrometer, which gauges the humidity in the basement area. Along with the properly wrapped cold water ductwork to cut back on condensation, a rigid insulation is recommended for the basement. Rigid-grade insulation resists mold.
Homeowners and business owners, who encounter these common ductwork problems and other ductwork insulation issues, may want to consult with a certified HVAC technician. There are cost effective and budget friendly solutions to every one of these ductwork installation and insulation problems in the attic, crawl space and basement. Although more costly, reconfiguring and relocating ground and slab grade foundation ductwork to ensure proper insulations, will drastically raise the value of the home or business.