How much does it cost to repair ductwork?
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Ductwork Repair Cost Guide
Updated: August 19, 2022
Ducts are an essential part of every HVAC system, controlling the airflow through the home and making it easy to heat or cool rooms and spaces. Without ducts, air cannot travel consistently around your house, and it is important to keep them in good condition to ensure the airflow is not interrupted or obstructed. If issues arise with your ductwork, repairs can be made by licensed contractors and HVAC professionals.
The national cost average for ductwork repair is $200 to $1,000, with most homeowners paying $600 to repair a leaky section and apply a sealant to prevent future leaks. This project’s low cost is $100 to fix a damaged vent. The high cost for this project is $6,000 to professionally remove mold from a large duct system.
Cost to Repair Ductwork
|Air Duct Repair Cost
|National average cost
Cost to Repair Ductwork by Material
There are multiple ductwork types, from affordable, flexible, non-metallic ducts to high-end sheet metal ducts. Each has a unique design and materials, and some types are more elaborate and expensive to repair than others. So, the cost of your ductwork repairs can be directly influenced by your duct type. The table shows the main duct types and the average repair costs for each, based on a typical section of ductwork measuring 30 linear feet.
|$200 - $800
|$200 - $850
|Fiberglass Duct Board
|$250 - $900
|$250 - $1,000
Flexible Non-Metallic Ductwork Repair
The average cost for flexible non-metallic ductwork repairs is between $200 and $800. Flexible non-metallic ducts are some of the cheapest ducts a home can have. They can be made from different materials like PVC or fiberglass-reinforced plastic, and this may impact the price because PVC repairs are usually closer to the lower end of the range, while fiberglass plastic is more expensive. These ducts are ideal for helping air move through tight spaces or around corners because they are flexible. However, they can suffer cracks, holes, and other damages because they are cheaper and weaker than metal alternatives.
Aluminum Flexible Duct Repair
Expect to pay from $200 to $850 to repair aluminum flexible ducts. Aluminum flexible ducts are ideal for branches, tight spaces, and exposed areas, and aluminum is commonly used for ductwork. It is relatively tough and resistant, but there is still a risk of aluminum ducts cracking, collapsing, or having condensation problems from lack of insulation.
Fiberglass Duct Board Repair
Fixing a fiberglass duct board ranges from $250 to $900. Fiberglass duct boards are a popular alternative to sheet metal ducts because they are significantly cheaper to install. They also have good insulation, so they do not usually suffer from leaks or condensation issues. However, issues may arise with these ducts, such as cracks, gaps, and holes.
Sheet Metal Ductwork Repair
Sheet metal ductwork repairs average $250 to $1,000. Sheet metal is the most expensive material to have installed and repaired. Some examples of sheet metal ducts include galvanized steel and stainless steel. However, it is one of the strongest materials, with decent insulation and durability. This type might need patching if holes appear or reattaching if it becomes loose or collapses.
Cost to Repair Ductwork by Location
The location of your ducts also influences the cost. Ducts can be found under the home, in the attic or basement, and several other areas. Certain areas are more accessible, leading to easier repairs and lower labor costs. For example, fixing easily accessible ducts in a mobile home usually costs less than duct repairs in a hard-to-access crawl space. Ducts in some locations may be hidden or exposed, and it is much easier for repairmen to work on exposed ducts that are easy to access rather than hidden ones, leading to variations in repair costs. The table below shows common locations and the average repair costs for each, based on a typical 30 foot length of ductwork.
|$150 - $600
|$200 - $800
|$200 - $850
|$200 - $900
|$200 - $1,000
|Under the House
|$250 - $900
|$300 - $1,000
Mobile Home Ductwork Repair
Homeowners can expect to pay $150 to $600 to fix mobile home ductwork. Fixing ducts in a mobile home is usually much cheaper than fixing ducts in a regular house. This is because the duct system is usually smaller, and the ducts are more easily accessible, reducing the amount of time and labor required to do the repairs. Ducts in a mobile home are also usually exposed, making them easier to repair, but they can suffer from clogs, leaks, and mold growth.
Basement Ductwork Repair
The average cost for basement ductwork repairs is between $200 and $800. The price depends on the problem and how easy it is to access your basement ducts. In most homes, basements are relatively easy to access, and the ducts are relatively small, so contractors should not have many issues getting to the ducts because they usually must be exposed, but extra labor may be needed if your basement is cluttered or the ducts are hidden.
Repair Ductwork in an Attic
Fixing attic ductwork ranges from $200 to $850. It all depends on how easily accessible the attic and attic ducts are. If the attic is easily accessible and well-organized, contractors should not have problems getting there to carry out the repairs. They may take longer and cost more if the attic is hard to access or has other issues like uneven flooring or hidden ducts. Attic ducts may be hidden for aesthetic purposes if the attic is used regularly or has been renovated, but most attic ducts are usually exposed.
Crawl Space Duct Repair
Homeowners pay between $200 and $900 to fix crawl space ductwork. This is usually more expensive because crawl spaces can be difficult to access, and it might be harder for a contractor to work in cramped conditions. It can also be tough to get certain tools and pieces of equipment under the home to access the crawl space ducts. Clearing out the crawl space before the contractor arrives makes their work easier. You may even have to hire a professional to clean the area before bringing in the duct repair company.
House Ductwork Repair
Homeowners pay $200 to $1,000 for house ductwork repairs. This covers general ductwork throughout the home, in spaces like the kitchen, bathroom, and living room. Ductwork in homes tends to be hidden to blend with the décor, making it more expensive to repair because it is harder to access.
Repairing Ductwork Under a House
It costs between $250 and $1,000 to fix ductwork underneath the house. The price depends on how accessible the ducts are. It is almost always more expensive to repair ducts in hard-to-access areas, and under the house can be one of the trickiest places. Your costs may be lower if there is a basement or large crawl space under your home, but workers must work harder and charge more if the area is difficult to reach. Jobs also usually take longer to complete, potentially leading to 2 or 3 work days.
Wall Ductwork Repair
It costs between $300 and $1,000 to repair ductwork in the walls. This is because ducts in the walls are usually hidden and difficult to access, so workers may have to damage the walls to get to the ducts and perform the repairs. You usually must pay extra for these duct repairs because you need to add the costs of repairing the drywall, between $200 and $550, and potentially repainting the damaged areas, ranging from $1.50 and $3.50 per sq.ft.
Cost to Repair Ductwork by Type of Problem
Various issues can arise with a home’s duct system, from holes and loose sections to rust problems, leaks, clogs, and condensation. The repair method varies depending on the problem. Costs range from high to low, depending on how much work must be done. The table below shows common repairs and the average costs for each, based on ductwork in a standard 1,500 sq.ft. family home.
|$100 - $250
|$100 - $500
|$150 - $350
|$150 - $500
|$200 - $500
|$200 - $1,000
|$350 - $650
|$450 - $2,000
|$500 - $2,500
|$2,000 - $6,000
Duct Vent Repair
The average cost for duct vent repairs is between $100 and $250. Vents are situated on the ends of your ducts and can get damaged, dented, or degraded. They might need patching, cleaning, or refreshing, depending on the damage. It is usually cheaper to mend vents than replace them.
Loose Ductwork Repair
Homeowners pay between $100 and $500 to deal with loose sections of ductwork. Loose sections of ducts can cause problems if left unattended because gaps and weaknesses in the structure may begin to appear, causing leaks and other issues. Mastic sealant or aluminum tape may fix loose sections or joints, or the loose parts might need to be refastened and secured.
Repair a Hole in Ductwork
Homeowners pay between $150 and $350 to fix a hole in a duct. Holes occur for various reasons, such as impacts or gradual damage due to rust and corrosion. They can cause big problems because air escapes through the hole, increasing utility bills and making the ducts less efficient. The hole must be patched to fix this, which involves covering the hole with new materials.
Repair a Rusted HVAC Duct
Repairing rust in air ducts ranges from $150 to $500. It is important to inspect for rust regularly, especially in homes where it is relatively old, because this problem must be addressed quickly. If the rust is spotted early, it can be scraped away with simple tools like steel wool and sandpaper. However, the rusted section may need to be replaced if left too long and allowed to spread, increasing costs, which may include new pieces of duct material like aluminum and sealants, such as duct mastic and sealing tapes.
Clogged Air Duct Repair
Expect to pay between $200 and $500 to fix a clogged air duct. The price depends on the clog’s location, how accessible it is, and how much work is needed to remove it. There are a few potential causes of clogged ducts, from dirty and clogged filters to physical blockages like pieces of insulation. The source of the problem must be found and removed. A professional either removes vents and looks inside the ducts or uses a duct camera to locate the clog.
Repair Condensation in Air Ducts
Fixing condensation in air ducts averages $200 to $1,000. There are several causes of condensation in air ducts, including clogs and blockages, a lack of insulation, and dirty filters. A contractor might need to clean the filters, remove clogs, or install new insulation, with varying costs depending on the repair type that must be done.
Air Duct Leak Repair
The average cost for air duct leak repairs is between $350 and $650. Leaks commonly occur due to cracks or gaps in the ducts, allowing air to escape and making the entire system less efficient. Contractors inspect the ducts to find the leak’s source and seal the area to stop air from escaping.
Rodents in Ductwork
Homeowners pay between $450 and $2,000 to remove rodents and make the ducts rodent-proof to prevent future infestations. That fee covers removing mice or rats from ducts with traps and installing a sealant or cover to prevent rodents from getting into the ducts. Rodents in your ducts can threaten your family’s health because they may bring bacteria and diseases into the home. There is also a chance of them dying in the ducts and giving off foul odors. Some may gnaw at the ducts and damage them from the inside or escape into your home, where they could bite children or damage your property. You need to call a pest control specialist to remove the rodents and then have an HVAC or ductwork specialist repair your ducts.
Repairing a Collapsed Air Duct
If there is a collapsed section of ductwork, it costs between $500 and $2,500 to have it fixed. As time goes by, sections of the ducts may weaken and collapse from old age and general degradation. This issue needs to be fixed as quickly as possible because it interferes with the entire airflow. A contractor must reattach collapsed sections and secure them, possibly adding sealant and insulation.
Mold in Ductwork
If there is mold in a home’s duct that must be removed, this mold removal service costs between $2,000 and $6,000. Mold is a serious problem because some types may emit dangerous spores and threaten your family’s health. The longer it is left, the farther it can spread. To deal with this, the first step is to perform a mold test for $50, and then, if mold is detected, a remediation specialist comes to your home and finds and removes the mold.
Ductwork Repair Prices by Solution
Professionals and contractors use a wide range of repair methods or solutions to fix problems. For example, they may need to patch holes or install insulation to prevent leaks or condensation issues. Costs vary depending on the solution. The table below shows common methods and the average prices for each, based on ductwork in a typical 1,500 sq.ft. home.
|Duct Repair Cost
|$150 - $500
|$250 - $3,000
|$350 - $1,000
|$450 - $2,000
|$1,000 - $3,000
Patching ductwork costs between $150 and $500. Patching is a good method to cover holes and gaps, and it can be more cost-effective to patch a damaged piece than have it replaced. To patch a hole, a piece of the original duct material is screwed or taped over the hole and sealed with caulk to prevent air from escaping. Professionals may also use duct mastic and tape to patch holes and cracks for protection. This method may also cover cracks, but it may only be a temporary fix because the damaged section may need replacing.
The cost to replace an average section of ductwork ranges from $250 to $3,000. This wide price range is due to the different materials and job sizes. You might only need a small part of your ductwork replaced in the attic, which should not cost much. Or, you might need a large and hard-to-access section of ductwork replaced due to issues like corrosion, resulting in additional labor and material costs.
The average cost for professional duct cleaning from HVAC professionals is between $350 and $1,000. Prices may be higher or lower, depending on how much ductwork you have and how easy it is to access. Cleaning is needed if the ducts are dirty, dusty, or if you have had problems with pests or mold growth. Professional cleaners use negative pressure machines to suck dust and dirt out.
Pest Control and Repairs for Ductwork
Homeowners spend between $450 and $2,000 on pest control services and repairs for ductwork. If rodents get into your ducts, you may have to repair costs due to the damages they do inside the ducts, such as gnawing sections or leaving feces and dirt behind. You may need pest control services to remove the rodents and clean messes left behind. You might also want to spend extra, approximately $50 to $250, on rodent-proof measures for your ducts, such as installing special vent covers, grilles, or mesh screens. You need to work with a pest control company to remove the pests and a duct repair specialist to fix damages and seal the ducts.
The cost to seal air ducts is between $1,000 and $3,000, but prices are lower if you only need a small section or 1 or 2 main ducts sealed rather than the entire system. Sealing is the preferred method when dealing with leaking ducts losing air from cracks and gaps. This method makes the system more efficient and lowers utility bills. Repairmen may use different sealing materials, such as mastic sealant or insulating tape to seal your ducts. They may also use water-based aerosol sealants, which can be sprayed into the ducts to seal them internally.
Labor Cost to Repair Ductwork
Homeowners pay between $75 and $200 per hour for the services of ductwork contractors and HVAC repair professionals. The more experienced and skilled workers charge higher rates for their services, while those who are relatively new to the job may not charge as much. Some contractors may also have set fees for jobs rather than charging per hour. For example, they might charge a set amount for sealing a standard duct or fixing a hole. They might also have minimum fees of around $100 or call-out fees of $75 to $100, which may be waived if you hire them. You may also have to pay extra if you live in a remote location because the workers must travel a greater distance to reach your property and perform the necessary repairs.
Air Duct Inspection Cost
Air duct inspections cost between $75 and $175. Inspections are an essential part of general duct and HVAC maintenance, and they can be really useful for identifying issues before they grow into bigger problems, such as the presence of mold or pests inside the ducts. During an inspection, an HVAC professional can tell if and when your ducts need cleaning. Some workers and companies waive all or part of this fee if you hire them to clean or repair your ducts, but you need to pay the full rate if you simply want an inspection. Workers usually need to carry out a small inspection of the affected area before repairs, which is different from a full-scale air duct inspection and is included in the repair rate.
Air Duct Maintenance
To reduce the risk of repairs and replacements, it is a good idea to look after your home’s ducts as well as you can. You can do this in several ways. One of the most important aspects of duct maintenance is cleaning. Professional cleaners can remove dust and dirt from your ducts, or homeowners can do some or all the cleaning with a vacuum cleaner, brushes, and other basic tools. Experts recommend having your home’s ductwork cleaned every 2 or 3 years. This helps remove allergens and dirt and dust buildups. If you have pets in the home, you may want to clean your ducts more regularly. Some companies offer cleaning contracts and clean your ducts yearly or every other year for a set rate, but most charge per cleaning session.
It is also a good idea to clean and change the air filters regularly to reduce the risk of the ducts getting dirty or dusty. Filters cost $40 to $60. Homeowners are encouraged to have professional ductwork inspections regularly to look for signs of damage or problems. Experts recommend inspecting your air ducts every 3 to 5 years, but you may want to get more regular inspections if you use your HVAC system often or have special circumstances like a family member with respiratory difficulties.
Cost to Repair vs Replace Ductwork
Depending on the damage, you may hesitate between repairing or replacing your duct system. Consider several factors if you are unsure, starting with the price. The national average cost of installing new ducts is between $3,000 and $6,000. You may have to pay extra fees to remove and dispose of your existing ducts. So, you may want to go ahead with the repair if it costs significantly less. However, replacing it might be the best option if your contractor gives you a high repair quote.
You should also think about your ducts age and condition. It usually lasts around 10 to 15 years in most homes, and as it gets older, it can be at a much greater risk of rust, pest infestations, gaps, cracks, and leaks. So, it might be a good idea to replace your ducts if they are old and regularly cause problems.
|$200 - $1,000
|$3,000 - $6,000
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Air Duct Cleaning
Homeowners pay between $350 and $1,000 for professional air duct cleaning. It can be significantly lower or higher, depending on your duct system’s type and size. Cleaning is important if the ducts have become dusty or dirty because dirty ducts do not function well and are at a greater risk of degrading, attracting pests, and causing problems.
Homeowners usually spend $2,000 to $10,000 on Duct Armor, a type of sealing liner sprayed inside the ducts. It cleans and seals the ducts internally, reducing the risk of air leaks and other problems like allergens. The price depends on how long your ducts are and their condition.
Insulating ductwork averages $1,000 to $2,500. The price depends on the type of insulation and amount of insulation needed to cover the ducts. There are various types, such as fiberglass insulation, preformed duct insulation, and blown-in insulation. The correct type depends on your budget and needs. For example, fiberglass is great for durability and heat retention, while aluminum is an affordable option that works well for soundproofing. Good-quality insulation can reduce the risks of condensation heat loss in the ducts.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Permit. Permits may sometimes be needed for air duct repairs and installations, especially if new sections must be installed. Check with your local building authority to learn more before doing repairs.
- License. Ensure you work with licensed contractors and professionals when seeking repairs. Licensed pros are the most trustworthy and reliable people to work with.
- Lifespan. It lasts between 10 and 15 years. It can last longer with good maintenance but is more likely to break and degrade as time passes.
- Insurance. Your homeowner’s insurance should cover HVAC and duct repairs caused by named perils in your policy, but they do not usually cover repairs for wear and tear.
- Higher bills. If you notice your energy bills have increased for no apparent reason, you may have a leak in your air ducts. If hot or cold air escapes from the ducts, utility bills increase.
- Location. The location of the ducts can affect the costs. Ducts in hard-to-reach places are more expensive to fix because the contractor must work harder and spend more time to get to them.
- DIY. You can do basic duct cleaning and repair work with the correct tools, experience, and guides. Contact the professionals if you are unsure about anything.
- Additional repairs. If your ducts are inside the walls or are covered, you may have to pay additional repair costs due to the damage to the walls and other structures.
- How do I know if my ducts are leaking?
You can tell your ducts are leaking in several ways. You might notice higher utility bills, uneven heating or cooling, or certain rooms feeling stuffier.
- How do I fix leaky ductwork?
Gaps or cracks may need to be patched and the damaged section sealed to prevent air from escaping.
- Why is water dripping from my ductwork?
This could be because condensation has developed inside your ducts. You may need to fit insulation to prevent this from happening.
- What is the best way to seal ductwork?
A water-based mastic sealant is usually the best option for contractors and companies to seal ducts.
- How do you fix a hole in a flex duct?
Foil tape can patch holes in flexible ducts. The correct tape size must be cut and applied over the hole. Mastic sealant may also be needed to seal the area.
- How do you check airflow in ductwork?
A special instrument called an anemometer measures the airflow in your ducts.
- Does exposed ductwork need to be insulated?
It is unnecessary for all of it to be insulated in every home and may be considered optional in milder climates. However, insulation is recommended in many homes because it prevents condensation and other issues.
- Should ductwork be replaced after 20 years?
It usually does not last much longer than 10 to 15 years, so this is the time when you should consider replacing it. But you may be able to keep it for a few extra years if it is in good condition.