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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Is the exposed commercial ductwork insulated?

    I'm trying to understand the issues as to when and where ductwork needs to be insulated. It is my understanding that ductwork should be insulated even in conditioned space in a home. How does it work with the aesthetic round commercial metal ductwork that you see exposed in some buildings. Does that always have insulation inside it? If it doesn't always have insulation, can you help me understand in what situations it is not necessary?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    It's usually insulated for 2 reasons:
    1) To prevent heat loss/gain of the air inside (and make the system lose efficiency)
    2) To prevent condensation

    Any supply duct should be insulated. Return/make up/exhaust ducts are usually not, depending on their location. A return duct that runs in an "unconditioned" space should be. Insulation can be inside the duct, or outside.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Rapid City, SD
    I'd say that depends a lot on the area too...

    Around here I'd venture to say that 90% of the exposed duct isn't insulated (square or round), and if it is, odds are only the 1st 10' of it is, and that's mostly done for sound.

    Course, it's pretty dry around here, so condensation isn't usually a major issue in this situation
    "If you call that hard work, a koala’s life would look heroic."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Houston, Texas
    I'd say Houston is pretty humid. But duct in the conditioned area does not have to be insulated. Joints sealed, yes. Unless the code has changed in the last year.

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