Duct (HVAC) Tape

In our last post about duck tape, we learned that true duct tape evolved from the World War II technology – After the war, people used duck tape to hold heating and cooling duct work together. Thus started the misnomer of duck tape to duct tape.

What is actual duct tape?
First, to avoid confusion, the subject of this post should probably be referred to a “HVAC tape” rather than “duct tape.”

OK. So, what is HVAC tape?
Before getting into what HVAC tape is, note that despite the belief that it is used to hold duct work together, that it is actually meant to seal duct work, that is to make HVAC systems more efficient by preventing losses through joints and seams. In the context of rigid metal ducts, as would have been the norm immediately after World War II, duct work is actually held together by fasteners and banding.

As used with rigid metal ducts, HVAC tape typically consists of a durable adhesive bonded to heavy duty aluminum foil. Duck Brand even offers HVAC tape of this type, through 3M offers a better explanation of the components in their similar product.

It seems that while not nearly as versatile as duck tape HVAC tape, specialized for the purpose, is a better option for use on your ducts.