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Air Duct Replacement Costs

On this page:
  • How much does it cost to replace ductwork?
  • Factors that affect ductwork installation.
  • DIY tips for installing ductwork at home.

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Ductwork Replacement Cost

Determining the cost of ductwork replacement or installation is based on several factors. These include the size/square footage of the home, where the ductwork will be located for new installation, and the number of vents needed. In general, a basic minimum cost for installation can run anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000.

The cost of the duct material can vary by region and is subject to the type of material, its specifications such as inside diameter, the linear footage and whether it is insulated or non-insulated.

  • Flex duct replacement costs range from $39.95 to $170.00 for 25 feet of R 4.2 insulated material with a 4-inch to 18-inch inside diameter.
  • Duct board replacement costs  for 60 linear feet for a home located in zip code 33624 using R6, 8-inch diameter flexible polyester material ranges from $7.03 to $10.10 per linear foot.

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Factors That Affect Ductwork Installation

The type of duct material your HVAC contractor chooses will depend on parameters specific to your installation. Most duct system installations require a combination of different duct materials to accommodate the structure.

Other factors to consider is if the home is one or two stories, the number of individual temperature controls, and the cost of repairs to walls, ceilings, or floors once the ductwork is installed.

For larger homes or homes where the network of ductwork may be more involved or challenging because the ducts must be networked around trusses, the installation cost can run between $5,000 to $15,000 or more.

Also include the cost of a permit for duct installation. Most cities require this to ensure a licensed professional will be responsible for the project. Costs vary from state to state and average between $10 to $100 but can be more. You can check out our local information page to find your city or state for information specific to HVAC installation in your area.

Having new or replacement ducts and vents is a big project and can be a big investment so it is to your benefit to have it done right from the start. Not only will a new or updated duct system benefit your home’s value, a new system can also save you money on your energy bills. With proper care and maintenance of professionally installed ducts, the efficiency of your home’s heating and cooling system increases significantly.

Man inspecting an air duct for replacement

Installing Ductwork as a DIY Project

If you are thinking about installing the ductwork as a DIY project, keep in mind it is a large and involved project. For installation in areas that are easily accessible such as a new room addition, a basement or even a crawl space, it will be a littler easier because you will have increased access to the area where the ductwork is being installed.

Whether it is new or replacement ductwork, the material is installed in a network system meaning ducts will need to run throughout the ceiling and a vent will need to be installed in each room for complete heating and cooling circulation.

In this case, access to the ceiling is necessary for installation. For homes with drop ceilings, tiles can be removed along with the framework that holds the tiles. If rooms are accessible via the attic, you can install the ductwork and vents that way. If your home has a flat roof with no attic crawl space and no ceiling tiles, the drywall or plaster ceiling must be removed. This means an additional cost to have a hole cut to install the vent and to have the drywall, or other ceiling material, reinstalled.

While handling the project yourself can save you a significant amount of money in the installation cost, if not done properly, it can cost you more in the long run.

A basic estimate of how much you can save by DIYing a ductwork project is based on the per hour cost of a professional HVAC specialist. Prices vary from state to state, but typically a professional installer may charge at least $50 to $55 per hour for labor and materials. If you purchase the materials yourself, you can sometimes save a little money but keep in mind this can be a difficult project to complete on your own if you do not have any experience in duct and vent installation.