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How Much Should HVAC Ductwork Cost?

HVAC ductwork in a crawl space

If you’re getting ready to install a new HVAC system in your South King or Pierce County home, you may need to factor in ductwork costs. If your existing air ducts are old and damaged, new ductwork will ensure your new air conditioner, furnace, or heat pump is as efficient as possible.

This post gives you a good overview of how much you can expect to spend installing new ductwork, but your HVAC company can give you an accurate estimate for your home.

In its most recent survey, HomeAdvisor found that, on average, the cost to replace ductwork is $1240, or between $455 and $2,097. This price covers everything from removing existing materials to installing new air ducts. Ductwork materials cost about $12 to $25 per linear foot. If you need to cut into floors or ceilings, expect to pay an additional $550 to $1,750.

Many factors can affect the price you’ll pay:

Home Size & Square Footage

Larger homes typically require more extensive ductwork systems — the larger the home, the greater your material costs will be, and your installation will require more time and labor than a smaller residence.

Two-story homes, in particular, often have zoned HVAC systems, meaning you have one air conditioner cooling the bottom floor and another cooling the second floor. Your ductwork configuration is what allows you to have different thermostats for different floors.

Ductwork Material

Whether you choose flexible polyester or aluminum or rigid galvanized steel or aluminum, the ductwork’s material plays a crucial role in determining its installation cost. The material you choose depends on your priorities as they all have varying levels of noise reduction, heat retention, and cost.

Flexible ductwork can be easily shaped to fit nearly any space but is prone to tears, pest infestation, and moisture damage. Rigid air ducts are mold-resistant and have a long life span, but they’re more expensive and only work for straight duct lines or exposed ductwork.

Ductwork Location

Attics, basements, and crawl spaces are the most common locations to install ductwork. Accessibility factors and possible construction or modifications to existing layouts can increase the final cost:

  • Crawl space cleaning
  • Crawl space encapsulation
  • Attic insulation
  • Basement size
  • Exposed basement ceilings

Attics and unfinished basements are the best places to install your ductwork for easy accessibility.

Exposed ductwork is also easy to install and access but isn’t as common in homes. It may be slightly less expensive than hidden ductwork, but not enough to significantly affect the cost.

Labor

The installation’s complexity, the contractor’s expertise, and the region where you live are what primarily influence the labor required.

While you might pay more for services from a skilled professional, it’s usually well spent, as you’re assured of correctly installed ductwork that operates seamlessly with your HVAC system.

Costs of Ductwork Installation vs. Replacement vs. Retrofit

The cost of installing new ductwork versus replacing or retrofitting existing ducts varies:

  • Installing new ductwork is a more flexible and straightforward option, as there are fewer obstacles to overcome, such as existing systems. You can lay out the ductwork without the constraints of previously installed air duct systems.
  • Replacing ductwork is typically more expensive due to accessibility issues and repair work. However, it can lead to improved indoor air quality, HVAC efficiency, and long-term energy savings.
  • Retrofitting existing ductwork usually involves upgrading the existing air ducts to improve efficiency. While it might have a higher initial cost, retrofitting can result in significant energy savings over time, especially if your old ductwork was leaky or inefficient.

Schedule Ductwork Installation Services With AAA Heating & Air

The licensed and highly trained technicians at AAA Heating & Air specialize in installing, repairing, and cleaning ductwork. You can trust our team to ensure a smooth air duct installation.

For over 30 years, our award-winning HVAC company has delivered exceptional heating and air conditioning services throughout the greater Puget Sound area.

Call AAA Heating & Air at (253) 234-1278 to request ductwork installation in King or Pierce County.

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Proudly Serving

Kent, WA and the surrounding areas


Kent | Auburn | Renton | Maple Valley | Ravensdale
| Covington | Black Diamond | Federal Way | Seattle
| Des Moines | Burien | SeaTac | Normandy Park |
Issaquah | Newcastle

View More