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How Much Does It Cost To Replace Ducts Or Vents?

Typical Range: $467 - $1,945

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Cost to Replace Ductwork

Installing or replacing ductwork costs $1,145, with a typical range between $467 and $1,945. This price breaks down to $10 to $20 per linear foot.

If you are thinking about upgrading to central air conditioning or forced heating when you previously used a different system, installing ducts and vents is a required part of the project. You’ll pay more if you have a larger home, or if the ductwork is particularly difficult to access. Consider these factors as you plan.

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National Average $1,145
Typical Range $467 - $1,945
Low End - High End $150 - $4,200

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Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 2,934 HomeAdvisor members in .

New Ductwork Cost Per Square Foot

New ductwork for the home costs $10 to $20 per linear foot, including $1 to $10 per linear foot for materials and $5 to $10 per linear foot for installation.

Square FeetLinear Feet of DuctworkPrice
1,000-2,500150$1,500-$3,000
2,000-3,500250$2,500-$5,000
3,000-4,500+350$3,500-$7,000

The price you pay depends on the material:

  • Flexible Polyester: $1 to $4 per linear foot
  • Flexible Aluminum: $2 to $5 per linear foot
  • Galvanized Steel: $3 to $10 per linear foot

Estimating the linear feet you need depends more on your home’s footprint than the total square footage. A 2,500 square foot house with one story may need 100 to 150 linear feet more ductwork than one of the same size with three floors.

Commercial Ductwork Cost Per Square Foot

Installing commercial ductwork costs $25 to $42 per linear foot. This price is higher than residential installation because of the different materials used.

Square FeetLinear Feet of DuctworkPrice
2,500-3,500300$7,500-$12,600
3,500-4,500400$10,000-$16,800
4,500-5,500500$12,500-$21,000

The total range includes these components:

  • Double Wall Spiral Duct: $10 to $16 per linear foot
  • Rectangular Sheet Metal Duct: $12 to $18 per linear foot
  • Fittings: $5 to $9 per linear foot
  • Labor: $10 to $15 per linear foot

Some commercial spaces use the same materials as residential. If you take this route, you’ll pay closer to $10 to $20 per linear foot.

Air Duct Replacement Cost

Replacing ductwork costs $12 to $25 per linear foot. This includes the price to remove the existing materials and install new. If you have to cut into the floor or ceiling to reach it, add an extra $550 to $1,750 to the total.

Aging ductwork needs attention just the same as any other home system. With good maintenance and periodic cleaning, they can last up to 25 years. They lose efficiency over time, as much as 40 percent. The materials can also rust or crack.

Ductwork Material Pros & Cons
TypeProsCons
Flexible PolyesterCheapestShortest lifespan
Flexible AluminumDurable but flexibleNot as energy efficient
Galvanized SteelMost durableMost expensive
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Cost to Replace Ductwork in a Crawl Space

Replacing ductwork in a crawl space costs $12 to $25 per linear foot, assuming that the area is clean and in good condition. If it’s not, additional services may include:

Cost to Replace Ductwork in an Attic

The price to replace ductwork in an attic ranges from $500 to $2,000, depending on the size of the home and your existing system. Installing attic insulation costs $1,700 to $2,100 and may be a good project to do at the same time.

Exposed Ductwork Prices

The cost to replace ductwork depends on how much you want to conceal it. Many homeowners choose to leave it exposed as a design element in areas like the basement. This saves the expense of patching drywall.

In a Mobile Home

Replacing ductwork in a manufactured home relates to its size, as well as the condition of the crawl space. Mobile homes often need more linear feet of material because they have one trunk for each unit. For example, a double wide would have two trunks where a stick built house usually has one.

Additional Ductwork Replacement Cost Considerations

The $12 to $25 per linear foot to replace ductwork doesn’t include anything you do after installation is complete. If you’re putting it into an existing home, you may need to pay for these additional services:

HVAC Ductwork Installation Cost

New ductwork installation costs $1,500 to $7,000, depending on the size of your home. If you’re looking to get central air or forced heating at the same time, pros often wrap the estimate for this additional work into the whole project.

Adding ducts and vents is only one part of upgrading your heating and cooling. This system circulates hot and cold air through the house, attached to a furnace, heat pump or air conditioner.

Adding Central Air Conditioning

The cost to install central air conditioning ranges from $3,800 to $7,300, including $2,000 to $5,000 for the unit. This system uses a thermostat to maintain a steady indoor temperature and ideal humidity for every room. If you already have a furnace, it can usually use the same ductwork and air handler.

Upgrading to Forced Heat

Installing or replacing a furnace costs $4,500 on average. If you want a system that provides heating and cooling, the price to install a heat pump ranges from $4,100 to $7,200.

Upgrading to forced air heat, which uses ducts and vents, is common in newer homes and remodels. This system runs more effectively and efficiently than older technology like baseboard heating or radiators.

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Ductwork Repair Cost

Duct repair costs $200 to $700 for most projects, although you may pay more for complicated tasks. Repairing specific parts of a system, such as the air distribution unit or individual vents, is not uncommon over the lifetime of a home.

Duct Sealing Cost

Duct sealing costs $250 to $2,000, depending on the size of your home and the condition of the system. This job involves testing it for leaks, identifying their locations and closing them with sealant or tape.

Duct Armor Cost

Duct armor costs $2,000 to $10,000. This product is a spray coating that goes inside your existing system to clean, seal and restore it. Homeowners may be more likely to choose this as an alternative to major demolition in the basement or foundation.

Cost to Add a Vent to Existing Ductwork

Adding a vent to existing ductwork costs $250 to $1,000. The price depends on how much you need to add in materials and how easy it is to access.

Duct Maintenance

Air duct and vent cleaning costs $375 on average. Most homeowners should consider this service every 2 to 5 years. If you replace your HVAC air filters once per season, you may be able to go longer.

Professional cleaning includes the supply and return air ducts, diffusers, grilles, exchangers, coils, fans, drip pans and vents. This clears out dust, mold and pollen.

DIY vs. Hire a Professional Duct Installer

Hiring a professional installer costs $5 to $10 per linear foot in labor, but it’s usually a necessity. Exposed ductwork may be easier for you to reach and replace, but most homes conceal it in a place that’s harder to access. Additionally, the project takes a skilled pro 1 to 2 days to complete. If you try to do it as a DIY job, it may take a week or longer.

If you’re ready to find HVAC contractors near you, remember to:

  • Read ratings and reviews to narrow down the list
  • Contact at least three professionals
  • Request a detailed estimate

FAQs

How often should you replace ductwork?

Most ductwork products last 10 to 25 years. Faulty installation often results in leaks or damage that require replacement sooner.

Can flex duct be used in a crawl space?

You can use flexible duct material in a crawl space if it has a vapor barrier. This prevents water leaks and may offer some protection against rodents.

How long does it take to install ductwork?

Installing ductwork takes 1 to 2 days. If you are replacing old material, you should expect 2 to 3 days for installation.

Do you need to replace ductwork when replacing an AC unit?

You do not need to replace ductwork when you get a new AC unit unless it’s damaged or reached the end of its lifespan.

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How do we get this data?

  1. Homeowners visit HomeAdvisor.com to find a top-rated pro to complete their home improvement project or repair.

  2. Once their projects are completed, the members log in to their accounts and complete a short cost survey.

  3. After compiling and organizing the data, we report it back to you.