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Is there a quicker way to insulate ducting?

Dear Wendy,

By Wendy Thomas, Residential Product Manager, August 2014

I am installing an MVHR system in a new build property and have read in the domestic compliance guide that ducting needs to be insulated on certain runs. To do this I’ve been wrapping the duct runs. Must I do this? Are there better ways?

Wendy says...There are installation guidelines for Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) stated within the approved Domestic Ventilation Compliance Guide document 2010. These guidelines refer to duct installation and state that ‘ducting should be insulated where it passes through unheated areas and voids (such as loft spaces) with the equivalent of at least 25mm of a material having a thermal conductivity of <0.04w/(m.k) to reduce the possibility of condensation forming.’ Wrapping the duct with layers of bubble wrap as an insulated cover has been the most common method used as a compliant solution, although this can be a very labour intensive process.

There are alternative products on the market which can reduce heat loss and prevent the formation of condensation when installed through unheated spaces. The main systems are thermal fittings (cladding) designed to wrap around traditional PVC duct and provide insulation that meets the requirements of building regulations. A unique alternative is where the cladding is actually the duct itself. Nuaire offers an innovative solution called Ductmaster Thermal, an all-in-one insulated thermal ducting system. It is available in both circular and rectangular lengths with a unique clamping mechanism that forms and airtight seal. Being both light-weight and easy to install, installers are able to fit this ducting system very quickly and without assistance making this a one-person fit. But more importantly, it negates the need for messy sealant and the extra step of insulating each run of ducting.

For any MVHR install, careful consideration and planning should be given to the types of ducting used and the design of the ducting in order to achieve optimum performance from the MVHR system and trouble-free operation. Nuiare can provide the extra support of design drawings and ducting parts lists to ensure a quality design that meets the latest building regulations and provides peace of mind for the homeowner.
Find out more about our Ductmaster Thermal range, which has just won the Housebuilder Product Award for Best Service Product 2014.

If you have a domestic ventilation question that I can help with I'd love to hear from you. Contact me by email:

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