The first sign of a poorly functioning air duct system is a dramatic increase in your energy bills. You definitely won’t miss it. You may also notice a decreased effectiveness in controlling temperature, an increase in dust in the house, and experience allergy symptoms.
Replacing old and worn-down ducts is a quick project to undertake that will benefit you for the next decade, at the very least.
Keep reading to find out the total cost to redo ductwork in your home.
Average Cost to Redo Ductwork
The national average cost to redo ductwork is usually around $1,150. The standard range for duct replacement costs lies between $470 and $2,000. In terms of linear footage, the average is $15, with typical prices ranging from $10 to $20 for typical ductwork remodeling projects. However, the cost can go as high as $9,200 for high-end work.
The cost includes removing old ductwork, labor costs, installing modern ducts, and disposal of waste. Your cost will also be higher if you have a larger home.
Most homeowners undergo this project when their ductwork gets old. Ductwork in poor condition will leak more than 35% of processed air, leading to extra utility costs and wastage. Another reason for replacing ductwork might be because your old HVAC system is too large and outdated. Larger HVAC systems will cause temperature fluctuations, energy wastage, and dry air.
Factors That Affect The Cost to Redo Ductwork
Duct replacement costs can differ widely for each individual project. As responsible homeowners, we need to know what factors can affect the price of remodeling your old ductwork.
- Home Size: The larger your home, the more ductwork it will have. More ductwork means higher costs. Simple.
- Type of Ductwork: There are a few different types of ductwork systems, and each is priced differently. Radial systems are the cheapest, along with a ductwork system installed in the open ceiling of a basement. Sheet metal ducts installed inside walls and ceilings will cost you the most.
- Home Layout: Your home layout will affect the number of duct runs you have to install. More duct runs will mean a higher overall cost to redo ductwork.
- Location and Time of Year: If you live in areas with a high cost of living, your prices for this project could rise by around 10% to 25%. Plus, HVAC contractors are busiest during summer months, making it more expensive to carry out ductwork projects during that time.
- Mold Removal: If you find dangerous levels of mold in your walls, it will have to be treated before installing any ducts. This is usually a separate project that can be costly.
- R-Value: R-value of ducts will refer to its insulation properties. Ducts with higher R-values will be more costly to install but is typically the better option as the ROI is quite good.
- Type of Materials: The type of material you use in your new ducts will have an impact on your total cost to redo ductwork. More information on this below.
Now that you all the factors that can influence your duct replacement costs, you can work on creating an accurate and actionable budget.
Duct Replacement Costs and Types of Materials
Let’s check out some of the possible options you have for duct work:
Flexible Non-Metallic Ducts
This is the least expensive material available in the market. The main benefit you get is that it can easily wind and bend through complex areas. Flexible non-metallic ducts are lightweight, so they are easy to install and don’t affect the surrounding house structure.
However, the material is not as sturdy as other options on this list. It can be prone to tearing and breakage. Make sure to install it properly so that it does strain anywhere along its length.
This material will only cost you around $1 to $2 per linear foot.
Flexible Aluminum Ducts
Flexible aluminum is the best material you can buy for complex spaces that require a lot of bending and turning. It’s more durable than flexible non-metallic options and is just as lightweight.
It will cost you a bit more, around $1 to $4 per linear foot.
Sheet Metal Ducts
Sheet metal is a strong and resilient option for buildings and homes that will have ducts that run in straight lines. It has a modern look and industry-grade strength but is quite rigid.
You can find sheet metal ducts for $2 to $6 per linear foot.
Fiberglass Duct Board
The main advantage of fiberglass is that you can cut it into whatever shape you like- be it rectangle, square, or circle. It also comes pre-insulated to conserve energy and have minimal air wastage. It’s also not very flexible, so it’s more suited to be installed in straight lines.
Fiberglass duct boards are available in the market for around $4.50 to $6.
Duct Replacement Costs in Attics and Crawl Spaces
Attics are a common place for installation of duct runs, and the cost to redo ductwork in attics will depend on the composition of your existing system and the size of your home. Replacing ductwork in your attic will cost around $500 to $2,500 on average.
We also recommend that you take this opportunity to install attic insulation, which is very important in energy and heat conservation. This is a separate project that will cost anywhere between $1,600 to $2,200.
The cost of replacing ductwork in a crawl space will likely be higher than for attics as they are much harder to work in and have less space. The cost to redo ductwork in a crawl space will range between $12 and $25 per linear foot if the surrounding area is in workable conditions.
Crawl spaces can sometimes become dirty, run-down, and be unsafe to work in. You will have to prepare the crawl space for duct installation by cleaning it or conducting repairs. This is a separate project that costs around $6,000 on average.
HVAC Duct Replacement Costs
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. It is a technology used to control indoor room temperatures and provide comfort through better air quality.
Installing new HVAC ductwork will cost you around $1,500 to $7,000. The final price depends on the size of your home and what additional perks you want to add. Vents and ducts are usually not the only cost incurred in an HVAC system. You will need a heat pump, furnace or air conditioner.
If you wish to add a furnace to your HVAC system to pump hot air throughout the house, you will need to pay extra. This structure is known as a forced air heat system and is very common in modern homes. Replacing a furnace will typically cost you $4,500 in total.
You can also choose to install heat pumps, as they are more energy-efficient and can be part of a heating and cooling system. Replacing or installing a heat pump will cost between $4,000 and $7,500.
You also have the option of installing central air conditioning. A central air conditioning system maintains and controls indoor room temperature and moisture with the use of a modern thermostat. The complete system will cost you around $3,500 to $7,500 in total. This price includes the cost ($2,000 to $5,000) you will pay for the AC unit.
Ductwork Sealing, Repair and Armor Costs
Duct sealing is all about testing your ductwork for leaks, marking their locations, and shutting them with a sealant material. This will cost you anywhere between $250 and $2,000 depending on how many leaks you find and the size of your house.
Repairing ducts involves repairing parts that are not operating properly, such as broken vents or the air distribution unit. The cost of a repair job is usually around $200 to $700.
Duct armor refers to a spray coating that cleans and seals the inside of your existing system. It can be used to improve its condition without replacing it. Armoring can cost around $2,000 to $10,000.
Most ductwork replacement projects are undertaken around 10 to 25 years after the installation of the previous system. Of course, faulty or bad handiwork will mean that you may need to make repairs sooner than expected. A duct replacement job should generally take around 2 to 3 days to complete.
Our advice: make sure you account for a few extra linear feet of ducting when calculating your total duct replacement costs. Every successful project needs to plan for contingencies, and you often end up needing more material than you originally planned for.
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