Air Duct Replacement Cost | 2024 Guide

By Alex Hawkins Updated January 23, 2024

Typically cost ranges from $1,370 to $5,970.

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Air duct replacement costs typically range from $1,370 to $5,970, but homeowners can expect to pay $3,670 on average. Air ducts are essential components of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and are responsible for distributing heated or cooled air throughout a home. Read our guide to learn about air duct replacement cost factors and why you should leave this job to the professionals.

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Note: Unless otherwise noted, cost figures in this article are based on 2024 reports from Costimates.com, House Digest, and RemodelingCalculator.


The Cost of Air Duct Replacement

The national average cost for a full ductwork replacement is $1,367 to $5,967, but it can range anywhere from $250 to $12,000, depending on the project’s scope. Many contractors charge per duct, and the average cost to replace HVAC ductwork per duct is around $295.

Cost by Duct Material

The type of ductwork material you choose affects your overall cost. Learn more about the common ductwork materials below and their average replacement cost per linear foot of ductwork.

Fiberglass ($4–$7): Fiberglass can reduce HVAC system noise, making it a popular choice for homeowners seeking a quieter home. It also possesses enhanced strength, making it capable of withstanding high air pressure. However, it breaks down sooner than other materials.

Aluminum ($2–$6): Aluminum sheet metal ducts are flexible, allowing easier installation in tight spaces or around obstacles. The material also minimizes energy loss, improves the overall efficiency of your HVAC system, and provides a long life span of 25+ years.

Galvanized steel ($4–$12): Galvanized steel ducts can last over 50 years and have a smooth surface that helps improve airflow compared to other materials.

Insulated flex duct ($2–$7): These durable, lightweight, and flexible ducts maintain good indoor air quality by preventing contaminants, such as asbestos and fungus, from entering your air supply. They don’t last as long as metal ducts, with an average life span of 20 to 25 years.

Noninsulated flex duct ($1–$3): Noninsulated flex ducts are more cost-effective than insulated ones. They’re also highly flexible, allowing them to fit into tight spaces and around obstacles, but like polyester, they’re prone to pest damage.

Polyester ($1–$4): Polyester is a high-quality material commonly known for its durability and resistance to wear and tear. However, the material makes this ductwork more prone to pest damage.


Other Potential Cost Factors to Consider

Other factors affecting air duct replacement costs include the following:


Signs That You Need Air Duct Replacement

Although health issues could be a sign of bad air ducts, there are others that could indicate you need a duct replacement. These signs include the following:

Dirty air vents: Dirty air vents can mean cracks, tears, and poor sealing in your ductwork.

Dust buildup: If you notice excessive dust in your home, this could signal that your air ducts are leaky and not working properly.

Increased energy bills: If you notice a sudden increase in your monthly utility bill, the culprit might be old ducts that no longer perform correctly.

Mold: It may be time to replace your air ducts if you find mold or smell musty and earthy scents.

Poor indoor air quality: Poor indoor air quality can directly impact your health and comfort, which may indicate that your air ducts need replacing.

Uneven heating or cooling: If some rooms in your home are warmer or cooler than others, it may be a sign that your air ducts aren’t distributing air evenly.

Whistling noises: Whistling sounds from your HVAC system can indicate damage to your air ducts. Existing ducts that are whistling mean there are unseen leaks and obstructions.


Professional vs. DIY Air Duct Replacement

HVAC professionals possess the knowledge to assess your energy needs and recommend the right materials for your duct installation. Opting for a professional air duct replacement also guarantees a skilled team will install your ductwork system properly and safely.

A do-it-yourself (DIY) air duct replacement demands a comprehensive understanding of HVAC systems and specialized tools. Installation errors can lead to compromised air quality, inefficiency, and potential safety hazards. Ultimately, we advise homeowners to seek professional assistance for ductwork repair or replacement due to the complicated nature of the work.


Our Recommendation

Air duct replacement is a serious investment that requires you to consider many factors to ensure your home remains comfortable and safe. Because air ducts are vital to your home, we suggest you leave this job to the professionals. You should contact at least three professional HVAC contractors for free quotes and to find out how much your specific home ductwork replacement will cost. This approach helps you accurately compare all costs and service options.

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Air Duct Replacement Cost FAQ

Is it easy to replace air ducts?

No, air duct replacement is a complex job with various challenges. It involves dismantling existing systems, coordinating precise installations, and ensuring proper sealing to prevent air leaks.

How do I prepare for a duct replacement?

Clear the area around ducts for easy access and remove any obstacles hindering the replacement process. Communicate any specific preferences or concerns with your contractor and be ready to adjust your living arrangements.

How often do you need new ductwork?

Generally, ducts made of durable materials like sheet metal can last up to 25 years or more, while flexible materials might require replacement sooner. We recommend you schedule a professional inspection every three to five years to assess the condition of the ducts and determine if replacement or maintenance is necessary.

What time of the year is best for duct replacement?

The best time of the year for air duct replacement is when there is mild weather, typically in spring or fall. The installation process will be more comfortable for the installers and the home’s occupants.