The furnace is the central part of both your heat and AC. It is largely responsible for circulating air into your ducts, pulling air out of your rooms, and filtering all the air that passes through it. This large appliance needs some TLC over the years if it is going to remain efficient and productive. No matter how new and energy efficient your furnace is, it won't be as productive as it should be if the ducts are not insulated. This article explains how you can improve the efficiency of your furnace by adding insulation to the ducts that are connected to it.
The Problem With Exposed Ducts Connected to the Furnace
Furnaces are usually in basements or garages. These are usually rooms where there is no air conditioning. You can lose a lot of heat through the exposed ducts in rooms where the temperature is not controlled. There is usually a small section of ducting the connects your furnace to the walls. This vulnerable, exposed ducting can definitely be insulated to make the furnace more efficient.
The hot air blowing out of your furnace and into the exposed can be instantly cooled down (during the winter) a few degrees as it enters the sections of ducting that are on the outside of the walls. You can similar problems during the summer where the outside heat makes your ducts hotter and therefore warms the air inside. Having exposed ducts ultimately means that the air flowing into your rooms won't be as hot or cold as it should be. So, adding insulation to your ducts is going to improve the productivity of your furnace during both the winter and summer months.
Adding Insulation to the Ducts
To add insulation to the ducts, you need some fiberglass batting. Continuous fiberglass rolls are the best for the job. They are usually 15" wide and often over 40' long. This is probably enough to wrap your ducts at least twice. Double wrapping your ducts is only going to increase the insulation. Before you apply the insulation, it is a good idea to reinforce the seams of the individual duct pieces with tape. Taping the seams will keep them airtight. Then, just wrap the insulation around the fiberglass, tape it down, and cut it with scissors.
You furnace is going to be much more efficient if the air flowing out it is not being lost through inefficient ducts. Learn more about furnace efficiency through companies like Ron Hammes Refrigeration.