Should Ductwork Be Replaced After 20 Years?

If you are a homeowner, your to-do list grows bigger and bigger every passing year. There are plenty of chores that you will find instantly therapeutic like repainting your room, adding flooring, and installing new closets. On the other hand, there are choruses where the rewards are challenging to see, for instance, replacing your ductwork.

Should ductwork be replaced after 20 years? If your ductwork is a little over 20 years now, you need to replace it. It is because ductwork has a maximum lifespan of at least 20 years, and it will deteriorate significantly as time goes by. It can aggressively reduce your HVAC’s efficiency and operability.

A Must-Read: HVAC Unit Replacement Cost

In this short read, you will have an understanding of why it is essential to replace your ductwork if it shows signs of deterioration.

Ductwork Replacement

When replacing ductwork, there is a lot of work to do, and it is not as simple as you might think. But having your ductwork replace can improve the efficiency of your HVAC system. The only thing that you should concern right now is to justify the cost of a complete replacement. It depends on your future heating and cooling dollars, as well as the specifics of your house.

You need to consider the keystone of green building. It is a concept where the whole-system approach to construction, designing and operating your house. Ductwork is one of many concepts of your heating and cooling system, including roofing, shading, insulation, air filtration sealing, windows, furnace, and air conditioner.

Ductwork Replacement Determining Factors

Ductwork is important because it acts as the circulatory system of your HVAC unit. All defective ducts can lead to a lot of various consequences, including loss of system efficiency, unhealthy indoor quality, and inconsistent cooling, and heating. Here are some determining factors that you should consider when a ductwork replacement is needed:

Age Of The Ducts

It is essential to evaluate the age of your ducts because when it comes to residential ductworks, they are designed to be at the lowest cost. These types of works are not intended to last the life of the house. The seals, joints, and seams in original equipment ducts may start to deteriorate after ten years.

Inspecting The Ducts

Visually inspect all the ductworks in your house where it is exposed, it can be in the attic or crawl spaces. Make sure that the joints between spans of ductwork are not deteriorating from the duct tape.

Air Flow Check

Make sure you are also checking the airflow in your room. Some temperature variations in airflow are caused by air leaks in ductwork or by thermal loss from the ducts with destroyed insulation.


Overall, it is essential to know that replacing ductwork after a long period is necessary. There might be ways around in solving this issue like air sealing, and insulating older ducts can prevent potential problems. It always starts with knowing your system well and maintaining it before any issues arise.

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