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Unsealed uninsulated heating ducts


Chris Bernhardt
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Does anyone make it a point to alert thier clients to the presence of unsealed, uninsulated heating ducts even if they are in satisfactory original condition? I do report the heat distribution type which would include noting that the heating distribution system was rigid metal and either insulated or not but I have not heard of whether older systems should be described as unsealed. Now remember I am emerging from an inspection bubble so if its a rediculous question please forgive me.

Chris, Oregon

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Another interesting question; on really old houses, sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. I make the call based on a lot of different variables; basically, my perception of just how bad it is. On average, I don't talk about it on old houses very much; they are what they are, and one can see if there are problems because the house has been there long enough to tell us a story.

On newer houses (plywood, plastic, vinyl, etc.), I bring it up a lot. I've seen loose ducts demolish structure when they're in enclosed spaces & flat roof "attic" assemblies. Leaking moist air condensing on cold framing members can do a lot of damage.

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Originally posted by Chris Bernhardt

Does anyone make it a point to alert thier clients to the presence of unsealed, uninsulated heating ducts even if they are in satisfactory original condition? I do report the heat distribution type which would include noting that the heating distribution system was rigid metal and either insulated or not but I have not heard of whether older systems should be described as unsealed. Now remember I am emerging from an inspection bubble so if its a rediculous question please forgive me.

Chris, Oregon

I jump all over that in new construction.

In older construction, I've been recommending adding insulation to uninsulated ducts but I haven't mentioned sealing. Perhaps I'll start. Lots of energy is wasted through unsealed ductwork.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Chris,

Seeing that you are in Oregon, I assume you may be talking about heating ducts with no A.C.

If this is the case on older homes, I would not push the issue but rather say that insulating may be considered. Along with that I would add that if A.C. is added the ducts must be insulated.

Of course this all depends on the code at the time of construction and current code.

I'm in S.C. where insulation on heating ducts may not be as critical.

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