When installing ductwork, it is important to make sure that the joints are properly sealed and the ducts are well-insulated. If the ducts are poorly sealed and insulated, heated and conditioned air can escape, which leads to higher heating bills.
To seal the duct seams and joints properly, apply duct mastic, which is more durable than the other tape options and is typically easier to use. For gaps larger than 1/4 inch, wrap a heat-approved or web-type drywall tape around the joint, and then apply the duct mastic.
Insulating ducts prevents heat from escaping, but in the basement, the walls also need to be insulated to prevent the pipes from freezing. If the heating ducts are well-insulated, the water pipes and drains may freeze and burst due to the lack of a heat source. If the walls are not insulated, another solution is to wrap the water pipes with electric heating tape.
If installing cooling ducts, a well-sealed vapor barrier on the outside of the insulation is important in preventing moisture condensation, which can cause damage to the surrounding wood structure.
For gas appliance installations, a carbon monoxide (CO) detector is important because it detects and alerts homeowners to harmful levels of the gas. Carbon monoxide detectors are strongly recommended in homes with gas appliances, and they are required in new buildings in many states.