footer-logofooter-logo

Al’s Plumbing — in Plano, TX provides Full-Service Plumbing; maintenance, repairs, and replacements for every plumbing component in your home.  Al’s sells and installs gas and electric water heaters.  Al’s is near your home in; Plano, TX; Allen, TX; Frisco, TX; and McKinney, Texas.  We service homes in southern Collin County, TX, and northeastern Dallas County, TX with no additional travel charges.

Call Al’s Today To Discuss Any Concerns Or Problems You Have With Your Home’s Plumbing. 

We will arrange an appointment at your convenience.

This Is Part-3 Of Our multi-part article about 75+ Ways Toward A Lower Heating Bill — With Your Existing HVAC System Part-3 Focuses On How To Correctly Bury HVAC Ductwork In Attic Insulation.  You can implement these money-saving efforts at; No, Low, Modest, or Moderate Costs.  Depending on the age of your home — these efforts could lower heating (and cooling) cost more than upgrading your HVAC.

What’s Discussed In Each Part:

Part-1: Locating & Sealing Air Leaks At Ceilings.

Click Here To Go To Part 1: Lower Heating Costs: Part 1

Part-2: Locating & Sealing Air Leaks At Floors + Ductwork Sealing.

Click Here For Part 2: Lower Heating Costs — Part 2

Part-3: Lower Heating Bill — By Burying HVAC Ductwork In Attic Insulation

Al’s Plumbing provides full-service plumbing maintenance, repairs, and replacements for every plumbing component in your home.  Additionally, Al’s sells and installs Rheem Professional Series gas & electric water heaters, and tankless water heaters.  We are near your home in Plano, TX;  Allen, TX; and Frisco, TX.  We service all homes in southern Collin and northeast Dallas Counties with no additional travel charges.

Call Al’s today to discuss any concerns or problems you have with your  Plumbing.  We will arrange an appointment at your convenience.

AlsPlumbing.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

75+ Ways For A Lower Heating Bill

With Low To Moderate Cost

(And Most Ways Lower Cooling Costs Too)


Can You Bury Attic Ductwork In Attic Insulation In Texas?

YES — When Performed To Building Codes

Texas uses the 2015 IECC Residential Building Code.  The 2015 IECC Was The 1st To Allow Buried Ductwork.

Flexible or Metal Ductwork That’s Insulated To R-12 + A Vapor Retarder — Can Be Buried In Attic Insulation (details below).

Source: https://hortoncontrols.group/index.php/energy-code


The Dept. Of Energy (DOE) States:

Properly Buried Ductwork Will Help Lower Heating Bill By -8% And Expect A Similar Reduction In Your Cooling Bill.

As Compared To: Standard R-8 Insulated Ductwork Installed Above Attic Insulation As Shown Below.

attic hvac ductwork

Image Source: Shutterstock

Shown: Flexible Ductwork Hanging Above The Insulation In An Attic

Note: The shiny silver wrap (shown above) is a Vapor-Retarder — to prevent condensation.

  • During DFW summer — attics can reach 170F degrees.
  • During DFW winter — attics temps are close to outdoor temps during darkness.
  • On Feb. 16, 2021 — DFW’s temperature dropped to -2F Degrees.

Source: https://www.weather.gov/fwd/dgr8mxmn

NOTE: Within Climate Zones 1A, 2A, & 3A (3A includes DFW).

Buried Ductwork Must Be Insulated To R-12 + Vapor-Retarder. 

Due To Quite High Summer Humidity — R-12 Insulation Prevents Condensation on the outside of buried ductwork. 

 

Climate Zones 1A, 2A, 3A Include These States or Portions Of States:

CZ-3A is described as: “Warm & Humid” — In The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).  It Includes These Areas:

Alabama, Arkansas (not NW corner), Florida, Georgia (not north 1/4), Oklahoma (not panhandle), Louisana, Mississippi, N. Carolina (southern half), S. Carolina, & Texas – east of U.S. Rt. 83.


Buried Flexible Attic Ductwork Must Be R-12 In Climate Zones (CZ): 1A, 2A, 3A (includes DFW)

Image Souce: Shutterstock

 R-12 Is Used To Prevent Condensation On Buried Ductwork’s Exterior In CZ-1A-3A.

R-8 Is Used For Installations Above The Insulation In CZ-1A-3A.

  • In CZ: 1A–3A — buried ductwork is not common yet.
  • At this time, there’s limited demand for R-12 insulated flexible ductwork.
  • To Achieve R-12: Uninsulated Flex Duct can be wrapped with John Mansville (brand) Microlite (model) Duct Wrap (details just below).

Click Here For Johns Manville (brand) Microlite (model) Duct Wrap: Johns Manville R-12 + Vapor-Barrier Duct WRAP – For Metal Ductwork

(If Link Doesn’t Work — Copy This Into Your Browser) https://www.jm.com/content/dam/jm/global/en/hvac-insulation/external-duct/microlite-fsk/JM_HVAC_Microlite_FSK_Data_Sheet_EN.pdf

TIP: If Burying Existing R-8 Insulated Ductwork — John Mansville Microlite Duct Wrap Can Also Be Used.

Additional Requirements For Buried Attic Ductwork In CZ: 1A — 3A:

  • Minimum Attic Insulation Must Be R-38 or higher (DFW is currently at R-38).
  • Attic insulation must be at least 3.5″ thick — over the top of ductwork.

ductwork for hvac system

Image Source: Shutterstock

To Insulate (uninsulated) Metal Ductwork — R-12 Duct Wrap can be used. 

Click Below For Johns Manville (brand) Microlite (model) Fiberglass (material) Duct Wrap:

Johns Manville R-12 + Vapor-Barrier Duct WRAP – For Metal Ductwork

(If Link Doesn’t Work — Copy This Into Your Browser) https://www.jm.com/content/dam/jm/global/en/hvac-insulation/external-duct/microlite-fsk/JM_HVAC_Microlite_FSK_Data_Sheet_EN.pdf

Source: https://eepartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Texas-2015-IECC_5-17-16.pdf

TIP: You Can Also Use Our Suggested DIY (non-itching) R15.5 + Vapor-Barrier Duct Wrap.

We Discuss This Product Below In: DIY Duct-Wrap Insulation + Vapor-Barrier“.

To Further Lower Heating Bill

If You Must Add Attic Insulation (To Reach R-38) — You May Want To (or soon be required to) Raise It To R-49

  • TIP: North Texas still uses the 2015 EECC — which requires R-38 attic insulation.
  • TIP: The 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) requires R-49 Attic Insulation in CZ-3A (includes DFW).
  • TIP: Some individual cities in Texas have adopted the 2021 IECC.  Example: Austin, Carrollton, and Denton, Texas are some locations.
  • TIP: Check with your city to know if you are required to install R-49.
  • TIP: Ask your insulating contractor the difference in price for R-49 versus R-38.  It’s likely less than you’ll expect.  This is because the contractor is already set up to insulate.  The cost difference should be only for additional time and material. 

Source: https://thehtrc.com/2020/insulation-requirements-2021-iecc

Insulation Value Of R-12 Ductwork Buried In R-38 Attic Insulation = R-29 *

  • * NOTE: The DOE Report was for a home with R-30 attic insulation.  Its buried ductwork had R-25 insulation.
  • * R-29 (with R-38 attic insulation) is over 3.6 times the insulating value of R-8 Flex-Duct installed above the attic insulation.
  • Additionally: The DOE stated R-8 Flex-Duct, installed above attic insulation — has thermal-losses of -10 to -45% (depending on attic temperature).

Source: https://www.energycodes.gov/sites/default/files/2019-09/Buried_Ducts_Webinar_Presentation_Slides.pdf

8% Year-Round Savings Are Expected From Ductwork Buried Inside Attic Insulation 

  • The DOE Says: With Buried Ductwork, air temp (entering rooms at the ducts) was -7 degrees cooler in the home used in the DOE study.
  • The DOE Says: -8% Annual Heating/Cooling Costs Reduction with R-12 Ductwork Buried Inside attic insulation As Compared To R-8 FlexDuct Installed Above attic insulation.
  • TIP: This also means the HVAC System will last +8% longer.

Source: U.S. Dept. Of Energy (DOE) Complete Report Available At: https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy16osti/65261.pd



Insulating & Covering Metal Ductwork — In Existing Homes

 

ductwork for hvac system

Image Source: Shutterstock

Shown: Uninsulated Metal Ductwork

If Your Older Home Has Uninsulated Metal Ductwork — That Appears GRAY (see just above)

Before Burying The Ductwork In Attic Insulation — You Must First Cover It With An R-12 + Vapor Retarder Duct WRAP 

  • If a Pre-1980 DFW home has its original metal ductwork, it’s likely uninsulated.
  • If the ductwork appears gray — you’re looking at bare metal (looks like photo above).
  • You can cover metal ductwork with the same product we discuss for FlexDuct.

Click Below For Johns Manville (brand) Microlite (model) Fiberglass (material) Duct Wrap:

Johns Manville R-12 + Vapor-Barrier Duct WRAP – For Metal Ductwork

(If Link Doesn’t Work — Copy This Into Your Browser) https://www.jm.com/content/dam/jm/global/en/hvac-insulation/external-duct/microlite-fsk/JM_HVAC_Microlite_FSK_Data_Sheet_EN.pdf

TIP: You Can Also Use Our Suggested DIY (non-itching) R15.5 + Vapor-Barrier Duct Wrap.  We Discuss This Product Below In: DIY Duct-Wrap Insulation + Vapor-Barrier“.



asbestos warning tape

Image Source: Shutterstock

SHOWN: Asbestos Danger Warning

friable asbestos

Image Source: Shutterstock

SHOWN: Asbestos With Ragged EdgesIndicates That It Has Failed.

If Your Older Home Has Uninsulated Metal Ductwork — That Appears WHITE 

  • The Ductwork Is Likely Covered With Asbestos Paper-Wrap.

  • Asbestos paper wrap was applied to help seal air leaks.
  • Asbestos was extensively used in homes until about 1980.
  • In July 1989 the EPA Banned Asbestos Products.

1. Click Here To See Gray Metal Ductwork WITH Asbestos Paper Wrap Only At The Seams Asbestos Paper Wrap Only At Seams (Scroll Down A Bit)

(If Link Doesn’t Work — Copy This Into Your Browser:) https://www.google.com/search?q=ductwork+with+asbestos+paper+wrap&oq=ductwork+with+asbestos+paper+wrap&aqs=chrome..69i57j33i160l2.10392j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#imgrc=ZIPx3H6eAmHooM

2. Click Here To See A Section Of Metal Ductwork Covered With Asbestos Paper Wrap: Asbestos Paper Wrap Covered Ductwork

Note: The Gray Ductwork, on each side of the white section, is bare metal.

(If Link Doesn’t Work — Copy This Into Your Browser:) https://www.google.com/search?q=ductwork+with+asbestos+paper+wrap&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwitnJXb3sn6AhVwmmoFHYsDDOsQ_AUoAXoECAEQAw&biw=1097&bih=535&dpr=1.75#imgrc=6_nSaFBGnGD0tM

3. Click Here To See Asbestos Paper Wrap That’s Failing & Peeling Off:  Peeling / Failing Asbestos Paper Wrap — DANGEROUS

(If Link Doesn’t Work — Copy This Into Your Browser:) https://www.google.com/search?q=ductwork+with+asbestos+paper+wrap&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwitnJXb3sn6AhVwmmoFHYsDDOsQ_AUoAXoECAEQAw&biw=1097&bih=535&dpr=1.75#imgrc=yNZ2FmF9PYLjPM

Don’t Go Near Failing Asbestos Paper Wrap — It’s Shedding Asbestos Fibers. 

Failing Asbestos Must Be Removed By A Professional Asbestos-Remediation Service. 

In This Case: It’s likely less expensive to remove & replace the ductwork. 

 

TIP: Some Home Inspectors Say Asbestos Paper-Wrap That’s NOT Showing Signs Of Failure Is Best Left Alone OR Covered.  

You Can Encapsulate (cover) Existing Metal Ductwork That’s Covered With Asbestos Paper Wrap In Good Condition

Closed-Cell Spray Foam Can Be Used To Cover The Ductwork — The Foam Also Acts As A Condensation-Retarder.

TIP: Add Spray Foam To R-26 — And Skip Buring The Ductwork In Attic Insulation.

TIP:  Adding Spray Foam To Ductwork With Asbestos Wrap — Is A Job For Experts.



DIY Duct Wrap For A Lower Heating Bill

R-15.5 Insulation + A Vapor-Barrier

For GRAY Metal Ductwork (With No Asbestos Paper-Wrap).

TIP: Can Also Be Used To Wrap Flex-Duct.

From U.S. Energy Products

Image Source: Amazon.com

Shown: Side-Profile View Of The Product Below

Image Source: Amazon.com Embedded Link

Size Shown: 16″ x  25′ 

Image Source: Amazon Embedded Link

Click On Image To: View Product, Read Details, and Purchase From Amazon.com

This Website Earns From Qualifying Purchases

US Energy Product’s Features:

  • R-Value (5mm) = 15.5
  • 5mm Closed-Cell Polyethelene Foam.    TIP: This has a foam core.  It’s not “bubble-wrap” insulation.  
  • A Radiant-Heat Barrier on each side.
  • The Barrier Reflects 99% of radiant heat.   TIP: Reflects the heated/cooled air’s temp inward toward the ductwork.   

TIP: Outdoor Radiant-Heat comes from the sun.  You can feel the sun’s radiant-heat on your skin.  This is why attics get so much hotter the outdoor temps.

Details From Amazon’s Website:

  • No-Itch Installation
  • 100% Waterproof + Mold Resistant.
  • Can be used outdoors & indoors.
  • Noise Reduction — closed-cell foam core provides a quieter environment. 
  • ASTM Class 1 Class A Fire Rated / Meets all US Fire Codes. 
  • Strong, lightweight, & durable. 
  • Easy to cut. 
  • Install with nails, staples, glue, spray adhesive (shown below), or aluminum-foil tape (shown below).

Larger Roll Below

Image Source: Amazon Embedded Link

Click On Image To: View Product, Read Details, and Purchase From Amazon.com

This Website Earns From Qualifying Purchases

SIZE: 48″ x 100′ 


Image Source: Amazon Embedded Link

Gorilla Heavy-Duty Spray Adhesive – Bonds To Metal

This Website Earns From Qualifying Purchases

Rated 4.5 Stars (out of 5) — With 10,500 Reviews (when this article was written)

Click On Image To: View Product, Read Details, and Purchase From Amazon.com

Available In; 1-Pack, 2-Pack, & 4-Pack Purchases


Image Source: Amazon Embedded Link

For Seams: Professional-Grade Aluminum-Foil Tape

Click On Image To: View Product, Read Details, and Purchase From Amazon.com

This Website Earns From Qualifying Purchases



For A Lower Heating Bill — Reduce Airflow Restrictions

Airflow Restriction Can be Caused By A Clogged Indoor A/C COOLING COIL

TIP: The Cooling Coil is inside the furnace or ductwork.  It can’t be seen without removing a panel.

Image Source: ShutterStock

Shown: This HVAC System’s Indoor Cooling Coil Is Inside The Furnace (behind the yellow tool the man is holding).

  • This indoor cooling coil is located inside the furnace or ductwork.  The coil is wet during summer (it removes humidity from indoor air).  When wet, it easily catches airborne particles that passed through the furnace filter.  Then, dust & moisture create the perfect environment for mold growth.  A clean indoor cooling coil will lower heating bill and cooling bill.

Click To See A Clogged Indoor A/C Cooling Coil (inside the furnace or ductwork & can’t be seen): Indoor A/C Cooling Coil

TIP: An indoor cooling coil that appears black — is covered with black mold.  Then, each time the furnace blower runs, it blows mold spores all over the house.

(If Link Doesn’t Work — Copy This Into Your Browser): https://www.google.com/search?q=dirty+a%2Fc+evaporator+coil&tbm=isch&ved=2ahUKEwj4p7qb3tj6AhXrlWoFHUz8ArcQ2-cCegQIABAA&oq=dirty+a%2Fc+evaporator+coil&gs_lcp=CgNpbWcQAzoFCAAQgARQjwZYvStgiy5oAHAAeACAAVGIAYQLkgECMjiYAQCgAQGqAQtnd3Mtd2l6LWltZ8ABAQ&sclient=img&ei=gKxFY_jnKeurqtsPzPiLuAs&bih=539&biw=1097#imgrc=2trHn9Jjl9dZ8M


Airflow Restriction Is Also Caused By Too Many Closed Air Vents 

A Single-Speed HVAC System (most are) — was designed and installed to be operated with all ducts open.  If you close more than 2 — it reduces airflow throughout the furnace and ductwork.

 NOTE:  This doesn’t apply if you have a variable-speed HVAC System — it will slow the furnace fan when ducts are closed.


For A Lower Heating Bill — Reduce Airflow Restrictions

Airflow Restriction Can be Caused By Dirty Ductwork

TIP: Ductwork Cleaning Is More Than Just A Good Idea

NOTE: Al’s Plumbing Does Not Provide Ductwork Cleaning Services.

Your health is impacted by dirty air ducts.  All furnace filters allow some dust through.  Over time, the dust builds up and reduces airflow through the HVAC System.  Reduced airflow causes the System to work harder and longer than it’s designed to.  This increases heating & cooling bills — and wears the HVAC System out faster.

 Then, each time the furnace blower fan turns on — it blows dust mites (and their feces) all over the house.   Add the potential for mold growth — and you have great reasons to keep ductwork clean.

Because DFW summer humidity is so high — it’s not rare that condensation forms inside the ductwork.   Dust and moisture are all that mold needs to establish and grow.  If mold’s present — each time the furnace blower-fan turns on — it blows mold spores all over the house.

Depending on; the number of occupants, the presence of shedding pets, and the age of the home (old homes leak more outdoor air into the home) — ductwork should be cleaned every 2-5 years.

Copy This Link Into Your Browser To See An Unnerving Photo Of How Dirty Ductwork Can Get:  https://dirtyductscleaning.com/duct-cleaning-images.php

TIP: If You Bought A Used Home — have the; ductwork, furnace, a/c cooling coil, and a/c outdoor unit serviced & cleaned (as needed).

 

footer-logofooter-logo

Al’s Plumbing — in Plano, TX provides Full-Service Plumbing; maintenance, repairs, and replacements for every plumbing component in your home.  Al’s sells and installs gas and electric water heaters.  Al’s is near your home in; Plano, TX; Allen, TX; Frisco, TX; and McKinney, Texas.  We service homes in southern Collin County, TX, and northeastern Dallas County, TX with no additional travel charges.

Call Al’s Today To Discuss Any Concerns Or Problems You Have With Your Home’s Plumbing. 

We will arrange an appointment at your convenience.

This Was Part-3 Of Our multi-part article about 75+ Ways Toward A Lower Heating Bill — With Your Existing HVAC System Part-3 Focused On How To Correctly Bury HVAC Ductwork In Attic Insulation.  You can implement these money-saving efforts at; No, Low, Modest, or Moderate Costs.  Depending on the age of your home — these efforts could lower heating (and cooling) cost more than upgrading your HVAC.