HVAC Ductwork Replacement – Do You Need New Ductwork?
While every home’s HVAC ductwork system requires unique considerations, ducts in Florida homes do present some particular challenges for contractors and homeowners.
The ductwork in most Florida homes built in the last 25 years, is located in the attic.
While many homeowners take pride in having the most energy-efficient cooling equipment, they will not enjoy the investment benefits if their ducts are leaking. The average house loses up to 30% of the air from ductwork due to leaks and holes in the ductwork.
Common Ductwork problems
Why consider having HVAC ductwork replaced? What’s in it for Florida homeowners?
Appropriately sized, installed, and maintained ductwork is especially applicable to Florida’s homes given the building boom that began in the 1980s. Houses built before the early 2000s have ductwork that met lower regulatory requirements. The r-4 insulation that was previously deemed adequate no longer meets today’s more stringent code standards. And as every contractor knows, building codes serve only as a minimum baseline for energy efficiency.
There are also technological advancements to consider. Today’s high-efficiency HVAC equipment is very different compared to the systems made decades ago. Because of this, home ductwork systems may not satisfy the requirements of today’s modern HVAC systems.
How do you know if HVAC ductwork needs to be replaced?
A home’s ductwork may give various signals that indicate a replacement is necessary. Virtually every HVAC contractor hears homeowner’s complaints about that room that is always too hot or sneezing which seems to only occur in certain sections of the house. Other customer complaints that may indicate a ductwork problem include:
- Musty smell
- Excessive duct
- Mold/Mildew around vents
- Water stains visible on the ceiling
- Condensation on supply vents
- Frequent equipment cycling
- Hot or Cold spots
- Visible ductwork damage
- High heating/cooling bills
- Poor airflow
HVAC Ductwork damaged by rodents
How much does it cost to replace AC’s ductwork system?
The replacement cost of ductwork varies quite a bit between properties due to the type of existing ductwork, accessibility, and location of supply and return duct locations, even the type of ceiling material, whether it’s drywall, lath, and plaster or drop ceilings in commercial applications.
Can I replace AC ductwork myself?
We have certainly seen many DIY duct jobs. Usually, this is less than ideal. Appropriate ductwork sizing and installation are critical for the proper performance of the equipment and to achieve the comfort level of the conditioned space desired. The 18 seer unit you just purchased tied into undersized ductwork is now a 12 seer unit, reducing the efficiency and potentially the lifespan of the equipment.
Undersized/poorly installed ductwork reduces the cooling capacity, uses more energy, and affects your house’s humidity level.
Professionally Installed Ductwork Benefits
- Correct sizing for existing equipment.
- All manufacturers of air conditioning equipment specify recommended airflow requirements to achieve the rated efficiency.
- Proper duct sizing also allows even distribution of air throughout the house
- Correct duct installation helps the longevity of air conditioning equipment.
- Reduces the frequency of equipment cycling
- Proper static pressure reduces strain on the blower motor.
- Sealed per code to minimize air loss.
- Correct grill sizing, design, and placement of air grills to maximize airflow performance.
- Installed & secured to maximize the lifespan of ductwork.
- Extends the life of the air conditioning equipment.
When it comes to maintaining a healthy home, your HVAC system is a key factor. The largest (and most overlooked) component of that system is your home’s ductwork. Because it carries air to every part of your home, the condition of your ductwork can affect your home in ways you may not realize. Our HVAC System Health Check evaluates 12 key factors to identify hidden problems in your ductwork and help improve the quality, cost and comfort of your in-home environment.