When Should Air Ducts Be Replaced?

System of cylindrical industrial ventilating pipes on ceiling.

Learn More About Your HVAC

Your ac system is essential for that oh so longed for chill during a hot day and that highly appreciated cozy warmth during the freezing seasons.  Contrary to belief, your duct system won’t last forever. Just like many things with age comes wear and damages that require upkeep and maintenance. At times, unexpected influences can shorten the lifespan of your unit and cause a need for repairs and new air duct system installations. It’s essential to become familiar with the components of your ac duct system and understand how it works so you can have relevant fixes when the time comes to switch it out.

Air Duct System Types

  • Flexible Ductwork
  • Rigid Ductwork
    • Sheet metal ducts
    • Fiberglass lined ducts
    • Fiberboard ducts


What is an Air Duct System?

An air duct system consists of many channels through which air is cooled and heated throughout a property.  Airflow can expel warm or stale air as well and features supply air, exhaust air and return air with the first being part of ventilation air. Ducts can engage in indoor air quality,  thermal comfort and provide focal cooling which can warm and sift frameworks. Depending on the need, there are diverse systems of ductwork that can be implemented into a home or business.

Air Duct System Components

The components of your air duct system are essential in order for you to find out where problems may lie in case you require an air duct system installation for the future. The first is your ductwork which comprises a system of ducts in which your HVAC flows air in and out of the property. Next, are the vents which transfer this air into the individual rooms through outlets. Your thermostat is something that everyone is familiar with and is usually the most visible and accessible part of your HVAC system. Here you can program your system for the desired schedule for temperatures or make adjustments throughout the day according to your preferences. A large part of your system that requires space is the furnace, which is usually placed in a closet, basement or attic. It processes heat through sources like electrical resistance, a heat pump, combustion or solar energy. A heat exchanger switches on when the furnace is activated and pulls cool air in order to heat and circulate it through the ducts. The evaporator coil in turns does the opposite and cools air when the thermostat is set to lower temperatures. The condensing unit is typically filled with a refrigerant gas and is connected to the evaporating coil and conducts heat exchange with exterior air.  The refrigerant lines than carry the refrigerant gas to the condensing unit and return it to the evaporator coil in liquid form.

How Often Should I Get my Air Ducts Cleaned?

You should engage in air duct system cleaning according to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association every 3-5 years. If you have pets or smoke it may be recommended to engage in the cleaning even earlier depending on your circumstances.

Should Ductwork be Replaced After 20 Years?

On average duct work begins to deteriorate by 15 years old which can lower energy efficiency on your system. The maximum lifespan is typically 20-25 years yet if you see signs of damages replacements are essential.

Do I Need to Replace Ductwork?

If you have aging ductwork or have had ducts installed 30 years prior than they simply will not work with the high efficient HVAC technologies of today. Ducts actually expand with the heat in the winter and contract with the cool of the summer. As heating pulls ductwork or seams apart than a leak may form and repairs or replacements may be necessary. Another reason for replacements could be poorly joined ductwork with aluminum or missing screws. What’s more, uninsulated ducts can rust as condensation will form on the metal material during the summer which can cause holes and breakdown system connections. Ultimately, poor support can cause a system to buckle, sag or block air flow. Make sure to have your systems properly inspected, even with areas on Angle rings to determine if a new ac duct system installation is needed or even a Roof restoration service.

Air conditioner ventilation installation system on the ceiling of a building.

How Long Does it Take to Replace Ductwork?

It depends on the extent of the work yet on average an air duct system installation can take 1 to 2 days. If the ducts are more accessible is could be less than a day or if the area is large it can take a couple of days.

What Causes Ductwork to Collapse?

Damages to part of a system can be caused by a range of impacts and age. There could be pests that can chew on work, corrosion,  leaking or indirect damage from debris from new constructions or renovations. Yet the main cause of collapse can be old ductwork, poor repairs or installations.

For air duct system installation call 817-770-0811 with Haltom Industries!