When Should I Replace Ductwork?

AC duct replacement

Although we know our ductwork supports our home’s comfort, we tend to forget they exist. Ductwork can require maintenance, repairs, and sometimes replacement. Most ductwork systems should comply with manufacturer specifications and any work should be performed by an HVAC professional. The condition and age of your existing ductwork is an important factor when deciding what your home needs. Understanding these factors is helpful to homeowners, even when working with professionals.

How Long Does Ductwork Last?

Ductwork can last around 10 to 15 years on average before it starts giving you problems. You'll know something is wrong when your HVAC system just doesn't seem to be working as well as it used to and all other possibilities have been exhausted. If a tune-up has come back clean and there's nothing wrong with your air conditioner or heater, the culprit might be aging air ducts that need to be replaced. 

Old air ducts are susceptible to the following types of problems resulting in decreased efficiency and diminished indoor air quality:

  • Punctures and holes 
  • Dents
  • Mold and odors
  • Pest intrusion

Signs You May Need AC Duct Repair or Replacement

  • Poor temperature control. If your home is having issues cooling or maintaining a cooler temperature, a professional is needed to inspect the ductwork. Although a dirty air filter may be to blame, you'll need a professional to see if anything is wrong with your air ducts.
  • Inconsistent heating and cooling. Poor design or layout of ductwork can cause hot or cold spots in your home. Inspection by a professional can help map out what your home needs in modifying the existing ductwork.
  • Increased utility bills. If your energy bills are through the roof but you're not running your HVAC system any more than usual, your air ducts may have gaps or breaks that are allowing treated air to escape into your walls before it can be circulated through your home. The result is that you're losing a lot of money to energy loss.
  • Musty smells. An odor of mildew coming from your return air vents is a sure sign that you have mold growing in your ducts. Mold is considered a serious issue in ductwork because it is fast-spreading and a significant health hazard. Cleaning is a temporary solution, but replacement is recommended when mold is found in your ducts.
  • Worsening allergies or respiratory issues. Air ducts that are filled with debris, like dust, pollen, mold, mildew, or even the hair or excrement of pests can seriously aggravate allergies and other health conditions. If someone in your household is experiencing symptoms, you should consider having your ducts inspected for gaps or other areas of damage that may be responsible for the buildup of contaminants.

Do You Need to Replace Ductwork When Replacing Your AC?

No, not necessarily. Just because your AC needs to be replaced does not mean that your air ducts are in bad shape. To know for sure, though, you should have a qualified HVAC professional inspect your ducts, and there's no better time to do that than when they're already at your home inspecting your AC. They can advise you on the best course of action that will cost-effectively solve your problem, whether that involves a few small duct repairs or perhaps a duct sealing service.

Call The Comfort Authority at (813) 518-8030 today to schedule a service appointment. Our expert technicians will give you several options regarding AC duct replacement and repairs with many payment options.

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