Proper Use of HVAC Tape Promotes Healthy Indoor Air Quality
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is always a primary consideration for HVAC contractors and installers. HVAC systems that have achieved full system closure are able to increase IAQ by helping to decrease pollens and contaminants that may trigger allergies or common health concerns attributed to air quality.
A full system closure, achieved through the use of properly applied and easily identifiable UL Listed HVAC tapes, means that no air escapes through any seams or connections on the HVAC system. It is the number one goal for HVAC technicians when installing or maintaining an HVAC system. Although a small part, the tape they use on the job can mean the difference between the system’s success and failure in keeping dust and allergens out of the air.
Select Easily Identifiable UL Listed HVAC Tapes
UL Listed HVAC tapes are durable and robust tapes designed to withstand the thermal cycles of the HVAC system. To achieve this listing, the tapes are stringently tested for flame resistance, mold growth and humidity, thermal pressure cycle testing and more. If successful in meeting and exceeding UL standards, the tape’s backing is printed with the manufacturer’s file number and the applicable UL codemaking it easy for inspectors to quickly confirm that the HVAC tape meets the necessary UL performance requirements for the application.
An HVAC tape that does not have a UL printed backing is a red flag to inspectors, indicating the likelihood that an improper tape was used for installation or repairs. A tape that does not adhere to standards or required codes will not meet inspection. More importantly, a non-UL Listed tape may not ensure full system closure for the life of the system. By using the proper UL Listed tape and executing the job correctly the first time, contractors can prevent lost time from costly callbacks.
Consider The Sealing Environment and Materials Being Sealed
There are several different UL Listed HVAC tapes to choose from, and each performs uniquely in different applications. Therefore, it is important to consider the sealing environment and the material being sealed when making the final decision on HVAC tape.
Oftentimes HVAC systems are located in unconditioned spaces, and the HVAC tape is exposed to extreme conditions. UL listed tapes are designed to withstand fluctuations in temperature, as well as maintain their adhesive bond to the HVAC system’s surface during less than optimal conditions, such as extreme cold or high humidity.
Substrate is also a critical factor. It can be difficult for HVAC tapes to adhere to certain materials, such as reflective insulation. There are tapes that conform better to textured and uneven surfaces; for example, film tapes are more pliable than foil tapes. When a technician properly applies an HVAC film tape, the tape works its way into the tiny crevices of the reflective insulation. This high conformability ensures 100% surface contact for a complete seal. It is helpful to be familiar with different types of UL Listed HVAC tapes in order to know which tape works best with the surface material on the job.
Applying HVAC Tape Correctly is Critical
Once the proper UL Listed HVAC tape has been chosen, it must be applied correctly to achieve full system closure. Short lengths of tape should be cut or torn from the roll. It is best to apply longer lengths directly from the roll to keep the tape from sticking to itself or unwanted surfaces. If the tape has a liner, once a length is selected whether cutting or applying directly from the roll remove the liner by starting with the end that is being applied first.
After the tape is in place, use a squeegee to make sure the adhesive has bonded to the surface. Center the squeegee over the seam that is being sealed, dragging it over the tape, and making sure the tape remains unwrinkled over smooth surfaces and conforms tightly to uneven or textured surfaces.
Achieving Full System Closure Protects Health and Wellbeing
According to the American Lung Association, the average person breathes 12 to 15 times a minute. That’s about 17,000 breaths a day. Through the proper selection and application of durable HVAC tapes, contractors and installers can improve a building’s IAQ and protect its occupants. With full system closure, the building’s HVAC system helps protect every breath, it aids in preventing headaches, congestion, fatigue, and other symptoms caused by poor IAQ.
Find the HVAC tape you need for your job at Shurtape.com.