Replacing Duct Insulation Sleeves

Replacing duct insulation sleeves is a great way to increase the insulating barrier of your home, which not only saves you money on utility bills, but also raises the value of your home. This is a job that can be easily accomplished in a matter of hours, depending on how many ducts you have in your house, and can be accomplished by any homeowner that has a little time to spare. Duct insulation sleeves come in different styles and forms, but the easiest, and one of the most efficient, ways to install new duct sleeves is to purchase ones that are pre-sliced down the center so that they can simply be folded around the ducts.

Supplies and Materials You'll Need:

  • Tape measure
  • Flexible foam split-sleeve insulation
  • Staple gun
  • Pliers
  • Sharp utility knife

Step 1: Remove the Old Sleeves

Decide how the current insulating sleeves were attached and remove them. The majority of them are stapled together at the ends, or wrapped with plumbing and heating tape, so either use the pliers to take the staples out or use a sharp utility knife to cut the tape. Be sure to dispose of the old insulation properly.

Step 2: Check for Leaks or Repairs

Before installing the new insulating duct sleeves, be sure to check the entire length of ductwork for any leaks or damage because it is pointless to insulate a duct that is not in working condition. Replace any damaged areas, and then begin wrapping the new sleeves around them.

Step 3: Install the New Insulting Sleeves

Begin from one end of the ducts and begin wrapping the new sleeves around the pipes. Make sure that the sleeves fit tightly around the ducts to ensure maximum insulating effects. Connect the two cut ends of the foam with staples, and then wrap with heat tape that is used on furnace and duct installations. This secures the sleeves in such as a way as to prevent any leakage. Cut any pieces that are needed with a sharp utility blade. Make sure that you take exact measurements and pay attention to details when cutting. The tighter the pieces fit, the better off you are.

If you want to install fiberglass insulation instead of the foam pieces, then it is simply a matter of following the steps above, except for the fact that you will have more cutting to do. The pre-slit foam pieces are the easiest to install, and are much less messy, but the fiberglass sleeves have a higher insulating rating. The choice is yours to make when deciding on the type, which usually depends upon the ease of access and the area in which you live in. If you live in a place that is really cold a majority of the year, then you will want to install a higher rated fiberglass sleeve. No matter which type of insulating duct sleeve that you decide to install, an average homeowner can accomplish the job without having to add the expense of a professional plumbing and heating specialist.