How much does it cost to replace an air duct?

Knowing the cost before getting an estimate can equal big savings.

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According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a leaky air duct can cost hundreds of dollars in heating and cooling bills. If simple repairs don’t fix the problem, you may need to have them replaced. The cost to replace air ducts varies depending on the size of your home, the type of air duct and whether you need any additional services, like insulation replacement or mold removal.

Key insights

Air duct replacement costs $3,500 on average.

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Air ducts cost $25-$55 per linear square foot.

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DIY air duct replacement isn’t an option.

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Air duct replacement costs

Air duct replacement costs $3,500 on average, though you can pay much more if you have a larger home. Of course, this cost is what you can expect to pay to replace all of the air ducts in your home. If you just need a small section replaced, it can cost a lot less. Air ducts cost between $25 and $55 per linear foot or $270 and $500 per air duct. So, if you need just to replace one or two air ducts, you may be looking at spending less than $1,000.

Air duct repair costs by type

There are several different types of air ducts, and the kind you need for your home can affect the price. Sheet metal ducts are more durable and efficient, so they’re unsurprisingly more expensive. The cheaper options are lighter and easier to install, though.

Additional air duct costs

Chances are, you’ll probably need new insulation around your new air ducts to make them more energy-efficient. That can add to the cost. New insulation runs between $800 and $2,000, or $1-$8 per square foot, depending on the material and labor.

Flexible fiberglass insulation tends to be cheaper, at $1-$4 per square foot. Flexible mineral wool costs around $2-$4 per square foot, while rigid or foam board fiberglass is the most expensive, at $4-$8 per square foot.

In addition to insulation, you may run into some other situations where you may need to pay more for your air duct replacement. For example, you may need permits, wall repair, mold removal or pest control. Here’s what some of these can cost:

Can you DIY an air duct replacement?

While you can clean your air ducts yourself, you should leave air duct replacement to the professionals. Small mistakes can add up to big heating and cooling costs. Plus, a DIY job may make you fail a home inspection or lose your home insurance.

When should an air duct be replaced?

Though your air ducts can last up to 25 years, you may see signs you need to replace them much sooner. Here are some common signs that your air ducts may need replacing:

  • Your electricity bill has gone up.
  • The air quality in your home seems to be worse.
  • Your house doesn’t cool or heat as effectively as it used to.
  • There’s more dust on your furniture than usual.
  • The air coming from your ducts smells funny.
  • Your ducts are noisy when air flows through them.

Does your home warranty cover air duct replacement?

Home warranty plans cover many of your home's appliances and systems, including your HVAC system and air ducts. Before making a claim, it’s important to look over your home warranty contract to determine if air duct replacement is covered and if there are any coverage restrictions or caps.

Quick and easy. Find a home warranty partner now.

    FAQ

    How long does an air duct last?

    It depends on the type. Generally, they can last from 10 to 25 years

    Do I need to have my air ducts serviced regularly?

    The EPA recommends that you don’t need to have your ducts cleaned regularly, just when they need it, which can vary.

    Do air ducts have a warranty?

    Your air ducts may come with a manufacturer’s or builder’s warranty. A home warranty plan may also cover your air duct replacement.

    Bottom line

    Though the average air duct replacement cost is $3,500, you can save money in several ways. First, see if you could just replace a small section of your air ducts or go with a cheaper type of air duct. Also, check to see if your home warranty plan covers air duct replacement costs.


    Article sources

    ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:

    1. U.S. Department of Energy, “Minimizing Energy Losses in Ducts.” Accessed March 12, 2024.
    2. Angi, “How Much Does Air Duct Replacement Cost?” Accessed March 12, 2024.
    3. Unique Heating and Air Conditioning, “Have Your Air Ducts Reached the End of Its Life Span?” Accessed March 12, 2024.
    4. Madd Air Heating and Cooling, “11 Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Air Ducts.” Accessed March 12, 2024.
    5. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “Should You Have the Air Ducts in Your Home Cleaned?” Accessed March 12, 2024.
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