The 4 Best Tapes For Sealing Air Conditioners
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While most air conditioners have expanding parts that create a more secure fit, you’re still likely to have small gaps where bugs, humidity, and hot air could enter your home. That’s where the best tapes for sealing air conditioners come in. That said, not all weatherproofing tapes are created equal, so before you choose one, you’ll need to consider the material, the size, the aesthetic, and the removability.
What To Look For When Shopping For Weather Sealing Tapes
Material: Weather-sealing tapes can be made from a wide range of materials. Some use aluminum, which is temperature-resistant and highly insulating. Others are made from sticky or clingy plastic that’s transparent, while some tapes even contain thick, low-density foam that expands to fill wider gaps. All of these are viable options, but keep in mind that the material will affect how discreet, insulating, and long-lasting your tape is.
Size: Make sure that your tape of choice is not only wide enough to cover the gaps between your window and your air conditioning unit, but also long enough to get the job done. Most of these tapes are offered in a few different widths, and the lengths range from 2 to 70 yards.
Removability: Many people remove their air conditioners on a seasonal basis, especially in-window units; those people will likely want a tape that comes off clean — without residue and without damaging your window frame. (Note that wooden windows, especially ones with peeling paint, are especially susceptible to damage.) If you plan to keep your AC unit in year-round, however, an extra-durable tape is likely your best bet.
Shop The Best Tapes For Air Conditioners
In a hurry? Here are the best tapes for sealing air conditioners.
- The Overall Best Air Conditioner Tape: XFasten Transparent Window Weather Sealing Tape
- The Most Long-Lasting Weather Sealing Tape: 3M Interior Transparent Weather Sealing Tape
- The Best Air Conditioner Tape Value: TapePlus Professional Grade Aluminum Foil Tape
- The Best Foam Tape: fowong Open Cell Foam Seal Tape
1. The Overall Best Air Conditioner Tape
- Transparent, so it’s extra discreet
- Uses a shrink-wrap-like plastic instead of a sticky adhesive
- Waterproof to handle humidity
- While the brand claims that it doesn’t leave a residue, some reviewers note that it can make a mess during removal
Even though it’s heavy-duty and creates an airtight, puncture-resistant seal, this XFasten window weather sealing tape is totally transparent, so it won’t be an eyesore around the edges of your air conditioner. Since it’s moisture-resistant, it also protects against fog and humidity. That said, since it’s a shrink-wrap plastic-type material rather than a tape, it’s wood-safe and is designed not to peel paint.
One reviewer wrote: “We were looking for sealing tape for the frame of the airconditioner that would make it bug proof while looking nice. This clear tape does the trick.”
Material: window shrink insulation film plastic | Available sizes: 2-inch by 30 yards
2. The Most Long-Lasting Weather Sealing Tape
- Strong enough to stick to most surfaces long-term
- Designed to make your home more energy-efficient
- Moisture-resistant to reduce humidity
- The roll is small compared to competitors
- Hard to remove, especially from wood
Sometimes you don’t want a tape you can remove easily — especially if your air conditioner unit stays in place year-round. That’s where the 3M interior weather sealing tape sets itself apart. After application, it shrinks around curves and cracks to create a weather-resistant seal that decreases energy costs and actually lasts several seasons. Finally, it’s fully transparent, so you’ll barely notice it once it’s on.
One reviewer wrote: “The Frost King tape only lasted 5-6 days in the application where I needed it. 3M is on its 3rd year!”
Material: plastic tape | Available sizes: one size (but available in five colors)
3. The Best Air Conditioner Tape Value
- Can handle heat, UV, moisture, flames, and chemicals
- Sticks to almost any surface, but comes off without residue
- A great value thanks to the extra-long roll
- It’s silver-colored, so it’s not the most discreet
This professional-grade aluminum tape is designed for HVAC systems, so in addition to being highly insulating thanks to its thick construction, it’s also resilient enough to handle moisture, UV, flames, and chemicals. As a result, it’s one of the best options for sealing your air conditioning unit — and while it sticks to just about any surface (so long as it’s clear of debris), it still “removes very well,” according to a reviewer. Finally, since the roll is 70 yards long, it’s quite the value.
One reviewer wrote: “This worked exactly like I hoped it would. I’m always slightly disappointed in fancy tape, but this was perfect for sealing around my window air conditioner and creating window barriers to keep the heat out. Impressed with the thickness and stickiness.”
Material: aluminum | Available sizes: 2-inch by 70 yards, 3-inch by 70 yards, 4-inch by 70 yards
4. The Best Foam Tape
- Flexible and high-resilience to seal gaps
- Doesn’t leave residue behind
- More expensive than traditional tape
If there’s a significant gap between your air conditioner and your window, consider this open-cell foam seal tape instead. Thanks to its thick, low-density foam construction, it compresses under weight but still fills gaps to help weatherproof your home. It’s also available in multiple sizes and thicknesses, and the strong adhesive makes it easy to apply to most surfaces. Finally, this foam is flame-resistant and can withstand temperatures up to 199.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
One reviewer wrote: “Easy to seal up your air conditioner and [block] so much of the wind and exposure from any type of heat outside.”
Material: open-cell foam | Available sizes: 1-inch by about 4 yards, .5-inch by about 4 yards, 2-inch by about 2 yards