How Long Does Duct Work Last? An Expert's Guide to Maximizing Lifespan

With the right maintenance and regular inspections by an experienced HVAC technician, ductwork can last up to 15 years. Learn more about how long does duct work last and how to maximize its lifespan.

How Long Does Duct Work Last? An Expert's Guide to Maximizing Lifespan

With the right maintenance, ducts can last up to 15 years. However, the seals, gaskets and joints of air ducts tend to deteriorate over time, leading to a range of heating, ventilation and air conditioning issues such as poor performance, excessive energy use and general discomfort in the home. Generally, ducts are designed to last 10 to 15 years. Ducts are usually made from a combination of materials like fiberglass and plastic.

If your house was built in the 1970s and has asbestos insulation (which is a cancer-causing material), you should inspect the ducts immediately. Ducts are responsible for transporting air conditioning from the boiler or air conditioner to the rooms of the house so that you and your family can stay comfortable all year round. If you notice that the ducts are badly damaged, skip the sealing and call a professional for a complete duct replacement project. In some cases, it is not necessary to carry out a full HVAC duct replacement project, but just repair one or two faulty pipes. Depending on the scope of work, replacing air ducts may require permits and repairs that can increase the total cost.

In many states, it is illegal to replace air ducts unless you are an appropriately licensed HVAC contractor. To replace air ducts on your own, you will need sheet metal, hooks and straps, vent covers, duct sealant, insulation and adhesive tape. Similarly, mold and mildew problems can also be caused by poorly connected or poorly insulated ducts. A trained HVAC technician will determine if you would benefit more from a complete repair or replacement of air ducts and will provide you with expert advice. A duct cleaning project is carried out by a professional team that, in most cases, can get the job done in one day.

If you observe an increase in dust, allergens or unpleasant odors in your home despite regular cleaning, air ducts could be a contributing factor. While cleaning and repairing air ducts extends their lifespan, they often need a major replacement every 15 years to function properly. Additional repairs may be necessary before or after the installation of the air ducts, either on the ducts themselves or on other elements related to the installation. In some cases, you may need to replace all of your ductwork, but you may also only need a few repairs or improved insulation. If there are holes in the ducts, you will also hear loud noises when the air circulates through them. If you know that you haven't installed many electronic devices in your house recently (laptops, computers, kitchen appliances etc.), the increase in your energy bill could be due to a leak in the ducts.

It is important to inspect your ductwork regularly for any signs of damage or deterioration so that any necessary repairs can be made before they become too costly. To ensure that your ductwork lasts as long as possible and functions properly for years to come, it is important to have it inspected regularly by an experienced HVAC technician. The technician will be able to identify any potential problems with your ductwork, such as leaks or poor insulation, and recommend any necessary repairs or replacements.

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