Is your boiler losing heat efficiency? Does it seem like you have to run your boiler more, but the air still isn't getting as hot as it should? There are obviously a number of possible causes for reduced boiler efficiency. Regardless of what is causing your problem, you are going to suffer from higher utility bills during the winter, if you do not fix the issue. One surefire way to improve the efficiency of your boiler is to tape and insulate the air ducts coming out of it. This is a simple DIY job, and this article explains the tools you need for it.
Why Insulation Is Needed
The process of insulating air ducts is very simple, but the actual ducts can be a little awkward to reach. Most boilers have a few feet, if not more, of ducting coming directly out of them, before they reach the wall. This exposed ducting is most susceptible to heat loss, especially since boilers are usually in rooms that don't have temperature control. For instance, if you have your boiler in the garage, utility room, or basement, it is bound to be much colder than the rest of the house. This means that the air flowing through this section of ducting, no matter how short it is, can be cooled down before it even reaches your walls.
Obviously, the ducting inside your walls is largely insulated, so you don't really need to worry about it. But, any ducting outside of the walls is going to lose heat. So, you might also want to add insulation and tape to air ducts that are exposed, even if they aren't next to the boiler. Often, there will be exposed ducts in the rafters of your basement ceiling. Basically, if you can see your ducts, it is not a bad idea to insulate them.
Tape and Insulate the Ducts
Before you add any insulation, it is a good idea to tape the seams between the individual duct pieces. The seams, which should be airtight, can lose their seal over time. This is especially true if you happen to store things near your boiler, or if your ducts got hit or dislodged. Duct tape is going to strengthen the connection and make the seams airtight. Now that your seams are airtight, you can wrap the ducts in fiberglass insulation. Fiberglass insulation is super easy to use, if you buy a continuous roll of batting style insulation. This easily wraps around ducts of any size and can just be taped down using duct tape. Be liberal when wrapping your air ducts, and consider double wrapping them, if you have enough insulation.
In the end, this simple project is going to make your boiler a little more productive during the winter.
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