The 411 on Costs to Install Ductwork for Central Air

cost to install ductwork for central airI have a somewhat embarrassing secret to share with you. Remember that Katy Perry song that was all over the radio a while back? It goes, “You’re hot, then you’re cold. You’re yes, then you’re no.” Actually, I think the name of this song is Hot N Cold. Okay, okay… I know the name of this song is Hot N Cold. Anyway, my embarrassing secret is that this song regularly gets stuck in my head—when I’m driving, making dinner, mowing the lawn. I don’t really keep count, but I’d say it gets stuck in my head every other week or so. And I don’t even like this song, I swear! Yet there it is, stuck.

I actually blame the fact that I’m always out in local homes performing heating and cooling service, maintenance, and repairs. In that capacity, I’m working with ducts all the time; the reason this song gets in my head is that ductwork is, literally, hot and then cold—just like that fella or whoever Katy Perry is singing about in the song.

See, ducts are a unique part of any HVAC system as they are vital for both the furnace and the AC to do their jobs correctly. Basically, both the hot and cold conditioned air flows through the same ducts to get to you in your house. Because of this, homeowners simply can’t ignore it when a problem starts to make itself known in your ducts. If you ignore the signs of trouble with ductwork for central air, the next thing you know, it’ll get worse. And you definitely don’t want to be in a duct dilemma when the Sacramento summer arrives next year.

With that in mind, I highly recommend getting to know all that you can about the hot and then the cold component of your home’s HVAC system. It’s important to know why ducts matter, what some of the common reasons ducts need to be repaired or replaced are, and the range of the associated costs to install ductwork for central air.

Signs You Need to Install New Ductwork for Central Air

Another song that gets stuck in my head while I’m out on calls is ABC by The Jackson 5, which is much less embarrassing than the Katy Perry song, at least in my opinion. The reason ABC gets caught in my head so much (besides the fact that it’s catchy as all get out) is that I tend to see so many problems that could have been fixed sooner and for less money if a homeowner knew how to recognize it when it started; if they, essentially, knew their basic ABCs about furnace and central air repairs.

ductwork installation estimate cost for central airThis is especially true when it comes to your ducts. I’ve talked in the past about signs it’s time to replace your ductwork, but these are so important that they bear repeating. Here are some of the top indications that it’s time to start investigating the cost to install new ductwork for your central air and furnace:

  • Your home is very dusty. Does it seem particularly dusty in your home these days? Are your allergies acting up? If so, it’s possible your ducts have holes, gaps, or are improperly sealed. When this is the case, dust from outside the ductwork gets inside, travels through the ducts, and ends up in your home. Another possibility is that ducts carrying exhaust are leaking into your home—something that negatively impacts your health and air quality in your home.
  • You smell mildew. If you notice a funny smell coming from your HVAC ducts, there’s a chance there could be mold. Sometimes when warm, moist air travels through cold ductwork (hot and cold ductwork), condensation forms. This typically happens if your ductwork isn’t insulated well or if the air moving through the ducts is particularly humid.
  • Your HVAC unit is loud. Your AC and your furnace should both run pretty quietly. If it seems noisy to you, it may be a sign that your ducts are too small for your HVAC system or that the ducts are imbalanced. When this is the case, your HVAC struggles to push air through too small of an opening, which stresses the system and drives up your energy bill.
  • Your home’s temperature is inconsistent. Do you ever feel like one part of your home is much warmer or cooler than the rest? This could be a sign you have leaky HVAC ducts that are losing air and failing to sufficiently heat or cool your rooms. These inconsistent temperatures are often due to unbalanced ductwork, so make sure you have a seasoned HVAC pro diagnose the problem correctly.

The Estimated Cost to Install Ductwork for Central Air

Now that you know the ABCs of whether you have duct problems (it’s easy as 1, 2, 3), time to talk about the costs to install new ductwork for the central air or furnace in your home.

…the average cost of having the ductwork for your central replaced ranges from $35 to $55 per linear foot, with slight variances depending on what materials are the right fit for your home.

As so often is the case in HVAC, plumbing, and window repair work, the ultimate cost of this project will likely depend on the size of your home. You see, the average cost of having the ductwork for your central air system replaced ranges from $35 to $55 per linear foot, with slight variances depending on which materials are the right fit for your home. This is far from an official estimate, but this generally means that the typical homeowner is looking at a cost of $1,2000, minimum, with some ductwork installation projects for larger homes costing as much as $6,000.

…the typical homeowner is looking at a cost of $1,2000, minimum, with some ductwork installation projects for larger homes costing as much as $6,000.

Really though, any experienced HVAC tech worth their salt will be happy to give you an estimate for this sort of job for free. So, if you did recognize any of those issues from your home, I highly recommend getting that done. And, of course, I would suggest you contact Bell Brothers first. We’re not hot and then cold, I’ll tell you that much. Our service is consistent, which is what has made us the go-to HVAC and ductwork repair company in the Sacramento area for years.

At Bell Brothers, we’re proponents of the whole home approach to health and efficiency. While our trained HVAC professionals would be happy to inspect and replace or repair your ducts, we’d love to also have a look at your windows and insulation to make sure they’re working efficiently as well. Contact us today to schedule your duct—or whole home—inspection.

Wondering how to finance a new furnace, or maybe even new windows and plumbing? HERO is a unique financing option that helps California homeowners afford energy efficient upgrades to their home. Contact Bell Brothers, a HERO-approved contractor, to learn more. Our local HVAC, plumbing, and window specialists will walk you through the entire process, from applications to installation.

Image courtesy Nyul