Regular air duct cleaning can help prolong the life of your ductwork system, but eventually, there will come a time when you’ll need to replace the ductwork in your home. Even though ductwork is an essential part of any construction project, crews and homeowners often overlook it.
Simply put, your ductwork system is responsible for pulling air into your heater or air conditioner and distributing it throughout your home. It regulates temperatures, and keeping these ducts clean has numerous advantages to your health and HVAC utilities.
How Do You Know It’s Time to Replace Ductwork?
If you’re questioning whether it’s time to repair or replace your ductwork system, let’s answer these four questions before you make the investment:
1. How old is your current ductwork system?
The age of your ductwork system will help you determine if you need a replacement.
A new, professional air duct system can help maintain high efficiency for your heating and air conditioning utilities. But ductwork systems don’t last forever. On average, a ductwork system will last 15 years but can last up to 25 years if properly cleaned and treated.
You might be thinking, “Well, nothing happens to it, so it’s fine, right?” Not exactly.
Your air ducts are constantly moving and are subject to many kinds of accidents. The metal ducts contract and expand depending on the air temperature pulling through. Since the ducts are connected to both your air conditioner and heater, they also vibrate along with those systems when in use.
The constant movement your air ducts experience can put a strain on the system. If your ductwork system is nearing 15 years old or older, it’s a good idea to call an inspector to check things out.
2. Does your ductwork system make a lot of noise?
Air ducts are not a silent system. You should be able to hear the air traveling through your home when the unit is running. But, for the most part, the noises coming from a healthy ductwork system should easily become background noise without causing much of a disruption. But what about the noises you can’t ignore?
A rattling, whistling, or clunking noise coming from your air ducts is a sign that you might need a repair or a full replacement. A professional HVAC technician should come to inspect your system and help you figure out your next steps.
3. Does your home smell like mildew?
Ductwork systems are designed to pull air from rooms into the heating and cooling units and push it back again. Not only is this good for regulating the temperature throughout your home, but it also eliminates odors and mold build-up.
These smells can lead to more serious issues within your home and negatively affect your health. A healthy ductwork system will regulate airflow, stopping smells of mildew and mold from settling.
If you notice any of the rooms in your house smell like mildew, or you find traces of mold, it might be time to replace your air duct system.
4. Does the Temperature Change from One Room to the Next?
If you notice a drastic change in temperature from one room to the next, your air duct system might be to blame. When working properly, air ducts are meant to keep a constant temperature throughout the entire building.
Many homeowners experience this problem. Inconsistent temperatures throughout a home are most commonly caused by a break or tear in the seal. Some of the air from your air conditioner or furnace escapes through these gaps, causing drastic temperature changes and increased utility bills and strain on your units. Ensuring the seals are intact is important not only for your system but also for your checkbook.
A drastic change in temperature between rooms is a good sign to call and have your air ducts inspected or replaced.
How Much Does It Cost to Have Ductwork Replaced?
On average, an entire ductwork system installation and replacement can range from $1000 to $5000. There are many variables that determine the price of the replacement, like the size of the home and its system, location, and the number of ducts needed for the project. With new constructions, putting in a new ductwork system can cost significantly more.
Is It a Good Idea to DIY Ductwork?
Even with all of the tutorials and tips for doing home improvement projects yourself, installing a new air duct system should be left to the professionals. Air duct replacement and all HVAC units require permits and must meet specific codes to be legal.
Permits ensure the installed units meet the government’s seasonal energy efficiency ratio rating (SEER Rating). Without the necessary permits on your replacement ductwork, you can get hit with potential fines from code enforcement officials.
Not having these permits can also affect your home if you decide to sell. Home inspectors can see a gap between permits, raising concern, which may ultimately lead to having the entire project redone with the correct permits.
If cost is a concern, Cates Heating and Cooling has financing available for ductwork installation in Olathe, Overland Park, and Kansas City.
How Do You Go About Getting Ductwork Replaced?
Removing, sealing, and installing new air ducts through a home is no small feat and is best left to the professionals. Replacing your ductwork can range from 1-3 days, depending on the system’s size and how easy it is to access.
If you need to replace the ductwork in your home, we recommend contacting the professionals at Cates Heating and Cooling. As one of the best HVAC companies in Kansas City, Cates also provides air conditioning and furnace repair in Johnson County and parts of Northwest Missouri.
For Kansas residents, call 913-888-4470 to schedule an appointment.
For Missouri residents, call 816-944-1844 to schedule an appointment.