If you have a centrally air-conditioned home, then air duct installation is a must to maintain the quality of indoor air. It also needs to be replaced after a regular time interval. You can increase the efficiency and life span of your ductwork with regular maintenance. The use of good quality air duct cleaning equipment is necessary for the cleanliness of the ductwork. 

The cost of installation of air ducts depends on many factors, whether you are installing a new duct system or you are replacing your older ductwork. Air duct replacement is neither easy nor inexpensive. The average cost of ductwork replacement and installation is estimated between $1,900 – $6,000, depending on the size of the house.

Are you looking for the expenditure required for the replacement of the current ductwork? If yes, then you are at the right place. In this article, we are going to discuss the air duct replacement cost in detail. Read further to know about the detailed description of air duct replacement cost.

Signs of Ductwork Replacement

An average life span of an air duct system is around 15 years when used with proper care and maintenance. The wear and tear of the ductwork are harmful to the quality of the indoor atmosphere. Air duct replacement becomes necessary when you want to upgrade to the latest technology or higher-efficiency units or notice the following signs of damage:

  • Increased energy consumption.
  • Breeding of pests inside the air ducts.
  • Unbalanced indoor temperature.
  • Growth of rust and molds on the air ducts.
  • Noise and vibration in the air duct system.
  • Foul smell in the air ducts.

Other than these signs, the major reason for ductwork replacement is that the old duct might be in very poor condition and cannot be repaired.

Cost of Replacement

In replacement, you need to remove the existing ducts and replace them with the new ones in the same manner. It is usually a less time-consuming project. Replacement becomes necessary when the leakages cannot be repaired. 

The average cost of air duct replacement lies between $25 and $55 per linear foot. The cost of replacement largely depends on the size of the house. Other than the area of the house, there are many other factors responsible for the increase in replacement cost. 

Ductwork replacement can be done at a cost as low as $550 for 50 linear feet with aluminum ducts and 1 vent. Going forward, it will increase with the size of the area and the number of vents. 

Replacement cost can be as high as $12,000 as it covers 300 linear feet of the ducts with 10 vents, 2 returns, and pre-insulation. If you opt for purchasing non-insulated ducts, the cost of insulation will be an extra burden on you.

Cost Factors

The total replacement cost of ductwork depends on many factors like material, size, insulation, labor charges, etc. Read further to know about the detailed description of these cost factors.

Vent Addition

When you opt for upgrading to a more powerful air duct system, adding an air vent becomes necessary. It might cost you around $250 to $500. The varied cost depends upon the factors like the type of the duct, home layout, and duct location.

Duct Insulation

Duct insulation is another major cost factor. It is very necessary for the proper maintenance of the ductwork. Some ducts come pre-insulated, while for the non-insulated ducts, the cost of insulation is an extra expenditure. The average cost of duct insulation lies between $800 and $2,000, depending on the type of insulation material.

Asbestos and Mold Removal

If the ductwork is old, then there’s a high possibility of asbestos and mold formation on the walls. These are hazardous materials that need to be removed before the installation of the new duct system. On average, the cost of asbestos removal and mold remediation lies between $700 and $2,200.


Installation of ductwork requires permits and regulation fees. This might charge you around $250 to $1,500 on an average.

Material and Type of Ductwork

Ductwork replacement largely depends on the material and type of ductwork. Some people prefer flexible aluminum ducts, while others opt for fiberglass ductwork. We have mentioned the rates of different types of duct material below:

MaterialRate per linear feet
Flexible Non-Metallic$6.50 to $10
Flexible Aluminum$6.50 to $11.50
Fiberglass$6.50 to $13.50
Sheet Metal$11.50 to $19.50
Air Duct Replacement Cost

Labor Charges

Labor charges increase with the increase in desired work like rerouting the existing ductwork, home energy audit, mold and asbestos inspection, etc. The cost of rerouting the ductwork or moving it to another place costs around $25 to $55 per linear foot.

Hire a Professional Ductwork Installer or Replace it Yourself

The profit margins of ductwork replacement are very high. The average profit margin of ductwork is estimated at 65% to 80%. Hence, finding a genuine professional for the ductwork replacement at reasonable prices has become very difficult. In this condition, DIY ductwork replacement is one of the most common recommendations. 

Moreover, if you are hiring a professional, keep the following points in mind:

  • Look out for an experienced installer.
  • Don’t make the advance payment to stay safe from scams.
  • Check the license and permits of the installer before hiring.


Air duct replacement is very expensive. So, before deciding to replace the ductwork of your house, it is necessary to analyze the damage. If the damage is small and the ductwork is not too old, you can opt for the repair of your ductwork. The cost of repairing is much less than the cost of replacement.

We hope that you found the article informative and you must have got the answers to all your questions regarding the air duct replacement cost. Boost your energy efficiency with the right quality of ductwork with a properly installed air duct system.