Helpful? 0

Need Help with Insulating HVAC ducts

To qualify for some energy efficiency rebates, we needed to insulate 25' of the HVAC supply ducts in our basement. I found this online that recommended using rigid Polyisocyanurate foam board to insulate the ducts.

We used duct mastic to seal the gaps in the existing duct work. Then we cut sheets of Super Tuff-R to the ducts to create a box (we used the board all the way around the duct as opposed to fiberglass batts on top). We installed the Super Tuff-R with the blue side out and the silver side facing the ducts attaching the pieces to the duct and each other with a UL 181 foil-backed. So far, so good. But a day after we finished the work, the tape is peeling away from the blue facing of the Super Tuff-R sheets. The tape sticks great when it's applied to the duct surface but it doesn't want to stay stuck to the blue Tuff-R surface. I did try burnishing the tape to get it to stay stuck but that hasn't really helped.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a tape that will stick to the blue face of the Super Tuff-R pieces? Or any suggestions on how to attach the insulation so that it stays in place?

Asked by Andrew Mutch
Posted Mon, 09/10/2012 - 22:29


3 Answers

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Helpful? 0

According to advice on the Dow website (Dow is the manufacturer of Tuff-R), you want to use a foil tape manufactured by Venture. That's the same advice I gave in my article on the topic of tapes and gaskets.

Here are links to two products that will work for you: VentureTape 1521CW (1.4 mil thick tape) or VentureTape 1520CW (a 2 mil thick tape).

Answered by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor
Posted Tue, 09/11/2012 - 06:42

Helpful? 0


Thank you. I'll see if I can track down the VentureTape. I didn't see it available from our local home improvement stores but I'm checking with the manufacturer.

I had also contacted Dow about the tape issue and they stated "The application in which you have used our product is not a supported application. This product needs to be covered with a 15-minute thermal barrier to meet code.". Any suggestions on how to address this concern? I know that others have used this material to insulate ducts. This document states that Super Tuff-R can't be used in basements. If that's the case, I sure wish I had known that a few days ago.

Answered by Andrew Mutch
Posted Tue, 09/11/2012 - 11:29

Helpful? 0

My experience with Super Tuff-R is that no aluminium tape would stick to it long term. I believe that the reason is the difference in the expansion coefficients of the AL and the "blue" substrate. Venture tape as well as the Shuretape found at Lowes will stick until cold hits it. then you will see it peeling off the tuff-R. It is also an overkill to use AL tape since the blue face of the Tuff-R is not reflective.
I had great success with the Tyvek tape (Home Depot) used for house-wrap. It bonds great and the bond is not affected by temperature.
If you use regular Tuff-R (with alumnium on both sides) then the Venture tape will work fine and makes more sense to use it since it is assumed that you need reflection on both sides.

Answered by Adrian Jadic
Posted Sat, 10/06/2012 - 08:54
Edited Sat, 10/06/2012 - 16:08.

Other Questions in Green building techniques

advice on rough finished new construction zone 5 top floor

In General questions | Asked by stephen edge | Jan 25, 15

Windows - Canned spray foam vs. ExoAir foam tape

In Green products and materials | Asked by Peter L | Jan 24, 15

SHGC high-solar-gain windows current list

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked by aj builder, Upstate NY Zone 6a | Jan 25, 15

Wall vent vs. roof vent

In Mechanicals | Asked by Matt Cibula | Jan 25, 15

Got cellulose insulation, how to fix the interior holes?

In Green building techniques | Asked by Alan B | Jan 22, 15
Register for a free account and join the conversation

Get a free account and join the conversation!
Become a GBA PRO!