Cost To Replace Ductwork (2024 Price Guide)

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Air ducts have a significant role to play in your home by providing a circulation field of cold and hot air.

Even though regular check-ups and maintenance are essential for your ductwork, they will reach a point where they need replacement.

Ductwork replacement is relatively expensive, costing some homeowners as much as $9,000.

The only negative side of ductwork replacement is that it can heavily drain your pocket since it’s relatively expensive.

On the flip side, ductwork replacement helps to maintain clean air at home and lower utility bills.

Average Cost To Replace Ductwork

The average total cost for air duct replacement is $5,250, but the cost can range from $1,500 to $9,000.

Actual project costs can change depending on the size of the home, the accessibility of the system that needs to be replaced, and the materials.

Material Cost per Linear Foot Labor Flat Fee per Linear Foot Total Average Cost for 150 Feet of Linear Ducts (1,500-Square-Foot Home )
Fiberglass $5-$10 $4.70-$7.89 $1,455-$2,683.50
Polyester $1-$5 $4.70-$7.89 $855-$1,933.50
Flex Duct Insulated $1.50-$4 $4.70-$7.89 $930-$4,734
Aluminum $3-$6 $4.70-$7.89 $1,155-$2,083.50

Air Ducts Cost Per Linear Foot

Air duct replacement cost per linear foot ranges from $30 to $60, but this number depends on how many feet of ductwork are in your home.

For example, if you have a 1,500-square-foot home, you’ll likely have between 120 and 225 linear feet of ductwork.

In addition, you’ll have to pay for labor unless you’re a qualified HVAC technician and can replace the ductwork yourself.

Many contractors charge between $66.50 and $85.50 per hour. However, if you’re paying a flat fee, expect it to range from $4.70 to $7.89 per linear foot.

Ductwork Cost by Material

The material of your ductwork significantly impacts the general replacement cost. Some of the ductwork materials include:


Some air ducts have a fiberglass liner placed inside or outside the system. The liner insulates the ducts, prevents air loss, and helps prevent condensation-related issues.

They also help to reduce the noise produced by the system. They are primarily applied in commercial buildings and offices. Fiberglass ducts range from $5 to $10 per linear foot.


Polyester is the most affordable material for ductwork. It’s simple to install, although it has the shortest lifespan. This material is ideal if you’re looking for a short-term solution.

Polyester cost ranges from $1 to $5 per linear foot.

Flex Duct Insulated

This is a durable, although lightweight, material for ductwork. Even though flex duct insulated material can serve you for an extended duration, it doesn’t compare with others, such as aluminum.

However, its cost is relatively cheaper, ranging from $1.50 to $4.


Aluminum is among the best materials to use for ductwork. It’s straightforward to install, shape, and even cut to make it suit your desired needs.

Also, aluminum is a durable material that can serve you for years. The material costs between $3 and $6 per linear foot.

Pro Tip: The standard recommendation period for cleaning an air duct is after five years.

However, when living in a dusty environment, you need to clean your air ducts more often. This will prevent the ductwork from getting damaged easily, thus saving you money.

HVAC Ducts Cost by Location

The location of the ductwork has a significant impact on the cost of replacement. Evaluating your ductwork location is vital before you begin the process. Let’s look at the variance in price by location.


Ductwork replacement in the basement is pretty simple and one of the most inexpensive locations. If you are doing the replacement in an unfinished basement, the cost is even cheaper.

Replacing ductwork in an unfinished basement can be as low as $10 per linear foot. However, if your basement has a perfectly finished lower floor, the cost will likely be up to $50 per linear foot.


Cutting through a wall to access the ductwork is expensive. The technician has much work to do before starting the repair, and they also have to repair the damage.

If the technician will be required to make new holes to do the replacement, the cost associated is much higher. The charges will likely range from $40 to $70 per linear foot.

Exposed Ductwork

Of all the possible locations, exposed ductwork is the cheapest to replace – for obvious reasons. The technician does not face any challenges accessing the system, making the whole process fairly straightforward.

Replacing exposed ductwork ranges between $1 and $3 per linear foot.

Additional Cost Factors For Ductwork Replacement

Understanding the additional cost of ductwork replacement can help owners properly evaluate quotes.

Factors that result in additional costs include:

Adding a Vent to Existing Ductwork

Property owners may want to add more vents to existing ductwork for many reasons. First, it can help increase air circulation, especially in rooms the AC can’t reach, improving comfort throughout the building.

It can also help resale value in case you ever want to put the property on the market.

The cost of vents varies depending on the required size and type. However, it can range between $250 and $500.

Insulating Your Ductwork

Insulating the ductwork is crucial since it helps to prevent air leakage that can lead to energy loss. It also reduces the amount of noise generated by the system.

The ductwork insulation cost depends on the size of the ductwork and the type of material. On average, insulating your ductwork costs between $2 and $8.

Moving Your Ductwork

Moving ductwork is labor-intensive and time-consuming, which makes it more costly. The charges range between $2,000 and $5,000 depending on the size of the ductwork and its location, among other factors.

Asbestos and Mold in Ductwork

The average cost of asbestos removal in ductwork ranges from $1,000 to $3,000. Cases of molds in the air duct can result in additional costs apart from the replacement charges.

Mold testing can cost between $300 and $800. Removal of molds and remediation will cost you between $900 and $5,000.

Cost of Ductwork Permits and Regulations

Ductwork replacement is considered a significant home renovation project that will need permits to ensure the work properly follows appropriate building codes.

The cost of permits varies from one state to another. The permit can cost you between $250 and $1,500.

Commercial Ductwork Installation Cost

Commercial ductwork replacement is a worthwhile project that you can invest in. On average, installing commercial ductwork can cost you between $20 and $45 per linear foot.

When planning for a commercial ductwork replacement project, you need to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to choosing the best type.

Once you have determined whether the installation of ductwork is worth it, you can look for a customized design and size for your project.

Cost to Replace Ductwork for Mobile Home

Replacing ductwork on a mobile home is considered a fairly labor-intensive project. And, of course, given the small space, insulation is paramount to ensure proper heating and cooling throughout the unit.

Mobile homeowners can expect costs to range between $1,500 and $3,500.

Ductwork Repair Cost

The cost of repairing ductwork depends on various factors. Minor and average duct work repair should cost between $300 and $900. The price is defined depending on the nature of the service, accessibility, and duct size.

Most basic repairs involve simple tasks such as fixing leaks, replacing small duct parts, and replacing a failed vent. Tasks such as aerosol sealing cost $1,500 to $3,000.

Manual sealing will cost you $500 to $2,000, while the duct armor costs between $6,000 and $32,000.

Pro Tip: The air conditioning system re-circulates the air in a room more than seven times. This is why ensuring that the ducts are kept clean is important.

What Are the Benefits of Replacing Air Ducts?

Increased air quality and comfort are the main reasons someone would replace air ducts in their home or building. However, there are quite a few more benefits you may not know. Let’s explore them in depth:

Increases HVAC Equipment Efficiency

The air quality in your home depends on the efficiency of the air ducts. An old air duct is likely to have holes that result in leaks, thus affecting the functionality of the HVAC system.

Leaks and cracks in your HVAC system are likely to result in a hike in energy bills. When there are leaks in your HVAC system, the system uses a lot of energy to enhance the air supply throughout the home.

Enhances Comfort In Your House

Living in a home with old ductwork affects the general temperature of the house. The air temperatures tend to fluctuate Since aged ductwork restricts air movement.

Replacing the air ducts is a lasting solution that guarantees a comfortable home with free air circulation and optimum temperatures.

Improves Air Quality at Home

A faulty air duct will circulate dirty air, contaminating the indoor air; this is likely to result in a toxic environment that is unfavorable for your health.

Replacing the ductwork will prevent the entry of pollutants into the room, maintaining a tidy environment.

DIY vs. Professional Air Duct Replacement

Waiting for a professional HVAC technician to come and replace your ductwork can be time consuming.

Even though converting this sensitive task into a DIY project may be a tempting option that can save you money and time, there are many risks associated with replacing air ducts yourself if you aren’t qualified.

Regardless of the multiple tutorials available on YouTube, replacing an HVAC system without the aid of a professional technician can be hazardous.

Remember that doing a faulty replacement on your HVAC system is likely to cost you more money. In addition, converting an air duct install into a DIY project can violate building codes at the least and death at the worst.

To be on the safe side, you should never make a ductwork replacement task into a DIY project. Always hire a technician to do the job on your behalf.

Pro Tip: Cleaning contaminated ductwork takes a maximum of five hours. However, the system’s location is an integral factor that determines the total time taken. For instance, the process will likely take longer if the ductwork is on the roof.

How Do I Know If Air Ducts Need to Be Replaced?

Air ducts play a significant role in helping you maintain clean air at home. However, you need to be able to determine when the ductwork needs replacement.

The signs below can help you determine when to replace your air duct.

Noisy Air Duct

The ductwork is designed to work quietly. Once you start hearing noise from your ductwork, it means that there is something wrong.

This mostly happens when the ducts are too small for the system or are imbalanced, making the duct struggle to push the air, thus consuming more energy and increasing energy bills.

The best solution at this point is to replace the ductwork.

A Dusty Home

Homes that are dusty and stuffier than usual indicate that the ductwork may have open holes and leaks.

In such scenarios, dust from outside enters the system and passes through the ducts into the home. This can negatively affect your health, thus calling for a replacement.

Inconsistent Room Temperature

When the temperatures in the room are inconsistent, it indicates something is wrong with your ductwork. The most likely culprit is leaky ducts affecting the system’s efficiency.

Replacing the ductwork can help you solve this problem.

High Energy Bills

Faulty ductwork tends to work harder than usual to balance the air entering the home. This mostly happens when the system leaks and the air escapes through other routes.

When the ductwork strains to supply air in the home, it consumes more power than usual.

How Often Should HVAC Ducts Be Replaced?

HVAC ducts should be replaced after 5 to 10 years. However, other factors, such as debris, excessive dust, and corrosive substances, can cause the system to wear and tear earlier than usual, calling for replacement.

How Long Does It Take to Replace Ductwork In a House?

The amount of time it takes to replace ductwork is determined by various factors. It’s difficult to tell the exact time it will take without considering the house size and the system’s location.

For example, replacing ductwork in a 2,000-square-foot home will likely take 48 hours.

Also, replacing ductwork in a newly constructed house will likely take less time than in an old home. This is because there are a few barriers to accessing the ductwork in newly constructed homes.

Also, newer houses usually have the latest ductwork designs, which are simple to replace.

When you want to change a simple system in the ductwork, the process will likely take a short time compared to changing the design layout of the whole system.

Changing and redesigning the system mostly happens when you want to replace the existing system with a new one.

Pro Tip: After any home renovation or construction project, you need to clean your ductwork. There is a high chance that its debris entered the system. The same applies when moving into a new home. Ensure that the ductwork is clean before you settle.

Should I Replace Ductwork When Replacing AC?

Yes. It’s advisable to replace your ductwork when replacing the air conditioner. Even though this is not always required, most contractors tend to give this suggestion to enhance the system’s efficiency.

Remember that when replacing the AC unit, the contractor must modify the ductwork to work effectively with the new system.

Can I Replace Ductwork Myself?

You can replace ductwork yourself with the proper guidance, tools, and extra hands. However, this is a technical task that requires an experienced person like an experienced and qualified HVAC technician.

The job requires someone who understands how HVAC systems operate to determine faulty areas and offer lasting solutions.

Improper replacement is likely to cause more harm and cost you more money than expected. It’s advisable to hire an expert technician to do the work rather than doing guesswork.

Is It Worth It to Replace Ductwork?

Ductwork material deteriorates over time, so it’s important to set aside a budget for a replacement.

Over time, you are likely to note some changes in your ductwork, and failure to replace it within the required time frame can cause various issues.

When the materials deteriorate, the functionality of the system changes. To be safe, consider replacing your ductwork after ten years. This will guarantee proper functionality and durability.

Create an Estimation for Your Next Ductwork Replacement Project

Replacing air ducts at home helps elevate indoor air quality and lower energy bills associated with a faulty HVAC system.

However, understanding how much a ductwork replacement will cost you is integral in enabling you to create a clear project budget beforehand. Proper financial planning can help you maintain financial stability while enhancing home comfort.

Depending on the scope of the project, you may need to get permits for your ductwork replacement project.

Some contractors take care of the necessary permits for you, while others expect the property owner to handle the paperwork. Ensure you know which your contractor falls under before they arrive for the job.

Lastly, ductwork replacement can also be done as a DIY project only if you are a HVAC technician. If you lack technical skills in this field, you need to hire a professional technician to do the work.

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