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HVAC Upgrade: Is New Ducting a Need or a Want?

Hvac Ducting

Whether you’re looking to replace old ductwork or add new ductwork, there are a number of factors that can influence your decision. In many cases, new ductwork is an improvement over the old system and can help with airflow, energy efficiency, and system performance. But before you make the investment in new ductwork, it’s important to consider the costs involved and whether it’s something you can do yourself or if you should hire a professional. In this blog, we’ll cover everything you need to know about HVAC ducting so you can decide whether the new ductwork is right for you.

What is HVAC ducting?

HVAC ducting is a large piping system that sends heated or cooled air from heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) units throughout a home. Ducts are long tubes or rectangular sheet-metal channels made of fiberglass, steel, PVC, or aluminum. They have an insulation value to keep the airflow free and not damaged by the outside elements. HVAC ductwork installation costs vary greatly depending on the size of the system and whether it includes indoor units or central air conditioning. The average cost is between $2,400 and $16,000 for new ductwork installation in new construction.

When checking ductwork for kinks or bends, it’s vital to strap the ends tightly and make sure that the ducts have good vapor lining. Also, be sure to check for insulation tears, leaks, or any damage that could affect system performance or efficiency.

Evaluating Your Needs

– Have your current ducts inspected to determine if they are in need of replacement. This is a good way to find out if there are any signs of air quality issues, mold, or other issues that could be addressed with new ducts.

– Look for signs such as poor air velocity, odors, and visible mold to identify if you need new ducts. These could indicate that the ductwork needs to be replaced.

– If you’re looking into installing new ductwork, consider using sheet metal ducts instead of flexible ducts or other types. These types of ducts can last a lifetime if maintained and cleaned properly.

– Finally, it’s important to note that ducts may need to be replaced sooner if the installation is faulty or if the ducts are more than ten years old. When making this decision, consider any signs of air quality issues and how long the system has been in use.

Pros and Cons of New Ductwork

Installing new ductwork to an existing home can cost anywhere from $2,400 to $6,600 on average. This varies based on the size and features of the system, as well as any additional costs associated with retrofitting or upgrading a home’s heating and cooling system. Although new ductwork is often more expensive than replacing an existing system, it is also safer and highly functional.

However, there are some drawbacks to installing new ductwork. Homes built before the duct system was installed may be more difficult to access, possibly requiring walls to be opened to reach the ducts. This can increase repair bills significantly. Additionally, new ducts tend to be larger than necessary, taking up space that could be used for other purposes. As such, it’s important to consider all of the factors when deciding whether or not new ductwork is the best option for a home’s heating and cooling system.

Benefits of upgrading HVAC ducting

Upgrading ductwork is a cost-effective way to improve air quality and comfort in your home. It can reduce energy waste, saving you money on energy costs. New ducts can also improve comfort levels, ensuring that your home maintains optimal air quality and temperature levels. That way, your household is protected from harmful pollutants. Upgraded ductwork can also help stabilize humidity levels, which can help prevent damage to surfaces and belongings.

New ducts can also improve airflow efficiency and indoor air quality. That’s because they are designed with precision and building science, resulting in optimal airflow rates and efficiency. They are an excellent investment for any homeowner looking to improve the indoor environment and health of their family.

Cost Considerations

The cost of installing new ductwork is anywhere from $3,000 to $18,000, depending on the complexity of the project. The average cost for a home is between $2,000 and $5,000, but this can vary depending on the size of the home and how many ducts are needed. The average homeowner spends this amount for ductwork because it’s an investment that will pay off in terms of improved air quality and energy efficiency.

The main cost factor for new ductwork is the material used to construct it. The material costs can range from $15 per linear foot for insulation to $45 per linear foot for metal ductwork. Additional costs may be incurred for removing old ducts, connecting ducts to a furnace, and cutting holes in floors, walls, and ceilings.

Another factor that affects the cost of new ductwork is labor costs. The National Association of Home Builders estimates that average labor costs for new ductwork installation are between $500 and $800 per square foot. This varies based on experience levels and local costs of labor.

What are the best materials for HVAC ducts?

Ducts are an important part of any heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning system. The components of ducts include duct board, insulation, ducts, duct hangers, and duct sealant. The various materials used in the construction of ducts vary depending on the application. Fiberglass ducts are cost-effective and durable but have a relatively low-efficiency rating. Steel ducts are strong and durable but cost more per linear foot than fiberglass ducts. PVC and aluminum are also cost-effective materials for the construction of ducts.

On average, steel ducts can last for 20 years, while fiberglass ducts tend to last for ten years. Ductwork repair is often done with rigid or flexible metal ducts. Rigid metal ducts are used for ceiling applications, whereas flexible metal ducts are best suited for attic applications, basement applications, and crawl space applications. In insulation materials, a combination of fiberglass or polyurethane insulation with mineral-based insulation, such as batts or blankets, can be used to insulate air ducts effectively.

A wide range of materials is available for the construction of HVAC ductwork, so it’s important to do research and choose the one that meets your specific needs and budget constraints.

Should you hire a professional or do it yourself?

– Replacing air ducts requires experience and licensing and is unsuitable for DIY work.

– Make sure the professional you hire is licensed and insured and can provide a warranty for their work.

– Professional installation typically costs $5-$10 per linear foot and takes 1-2 days to complete.

– Get quotes from multiple pros to compare and hire only when you’re ready.

– If you want to do it yourself, start by cleaning out the air ducts of any debris or dust.

– Use the right size ducts for the job, as smaller ducts are easier to seal but don’t provide as much airflow.

– Finally, inspect the ductwork for cracks or other damage before replacing it. This will ensure air flows freely through your home and isn’t restricted.

– Depending on the size of your home and the type of heating system in use, you may need to replace air ducts every few years or every few decades, respectively.

Start by checking insulation levels and weather stripping around windows and doors to make sure they’re secure. Also, consider whether new ductwork would improve indoor air quality or energy efficiency. It’s important to look at all factors when making decisions about air duct replacement, including cost, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, safety concerns, and durability.


In conclusion, ductwork is an integral component of your HVAC system that has a significant impact on air quality and system efficiency. Whether or not you should upgrade your ductwork depends on a variety of factors, including system age, energy efficiency, and system airflow. If you’re unsure whether new ductwork will benefit your home, get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation. Our experts can help you decide what new ductwork would best suit your needs!


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