What does the air duct system do?

worker holding air duct equipment

Keeping Your Air Clean

While the Bon Aire area of Georgia may not be in the desert, there is still dust and other particles inside our homes. These are things that we breathe in as they coat the inside of the air duct systems in our homes, schools, and workplaces. Routine professional cleaning and quality air duct installation are the best ways to minimize the pollutants in what we are breathing.

What is an air duct?

An air duct installation is an essential part of the HVAC system. The job of the air duct system is to l distribute air throughout your home. The air duct system distributes the cooled or heated air to the vents in each room. What is the difference between air duct vs vents and are they both necessary?

Do you need air ducts in houses?

If your home has an HVAC system, aka central heating and air, yes, air duct installation is necessary or the cooled and heated air could not be dispersed throughout the house. Installing air conditioning without ducts can only be successful with individual window units.

Yes, both are necessary for a properly working air duct installation. As described above, the air ducts are where the cooled or heated air from the HVAC system is blown through and out the vents in each room. Some rooms may have more than one vent depending on the size of the room. Standing in a room, you will not see the air ducts installation, but you will see the covers over the vents. 

Where is the air duct located?

An air duct installation should always be installed within the conditioned envelope of the house. The ideal location is within the framing of the ceiling, flooring, and walls. Routine cleaning, inspections, and maintenance are recommended so they stay in good working condition, free of any blockages or collapsed sections. 

Can air ducts make you sick?

An air duct installation will require that they are professionally clean to remove the “stuff” that builds up inside them. That “stuff” includes bacteria, diseases, and viruses from the following:

  • Dust and Dust Mites
  • Fungi and Fungal Spores
  • Mildew, Mold, and Mold Spores
  • Pet dander
  • People dander
  • Pollen
  • Insect and Rodent Feces, Nests, and Remains
  • Tobacco Smoke 
  • By-Products of Chemical Pollutants

All of these allergens, diseases, growths, and pollutants can affect the health of everyone living in your home, or even visitors with sensitive respiratory systems can suffer from any of the following: 

  • Coughing, congestion, sneezing
  • Itchy, scratchy eyes, nose, and throat
  • Breathing difficulties including asthma and wheezing
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Eczema, hives, or rashes
  • Feeling of lethargic 

How much does it cost to install air ducts?

The average cost for air duct installation ranges between $2,000 and $7,000. Depending on the size of the home, single or multi-story, the cost could be less, or it could be more.  With ductwork costs between $18 and $27 per linear foot, there are multiple factors involved: Including removing any existing materials before installing the new components, cutting into ceilings, flooring, or walls, and the type of air duct material. 

Some examples:

  • Flexible Polyester Ducts: Cost up to $4 per linear foot, this is the least expensive but has the shortest lifespan.
  • Flexible Aluminum: Cost up to $5 per linear foot, durable material but lacks in energy efficiency and flexibility.
  • Galvanized Steel: Cost up to $10 per linear foot, this is the most expensive, but the most durable air duct installation material. 

Other components and materials estimated costs are: 

  • Vents: Averages at $150 per vent.
  • Insulation: This can cost up to $4,000 depending on the type of insulation between fiberglass, the least expensive and foil-backed mineral wool, the most expensive. 
  • Replacing Ductwork in Attic: Can cost up to $2,000 with insulation another $2,000.
  • Replacing Ductwork in Crawl Space: As much as $25 per linear foot, an additional $6,000 for cleaning and repairing the crawl space, and a crawl space encapsulation system installed at an additional cost of $9,500.

Other modifications can increase the cost like repairing after the air duct installation is complete, installing a drop ceiling, and rerouting any existing ductwork. 

technicians repairing an air duct system

Can You Save Money with DIY Air Duct Installation? 

Can you install ductwork yourself to save money? Yes, doing your own air duct installation is possible, though you’ll probably find several videos online to walk you through the process. However, if you’ve never done an air duct installation before, you may find it more challenging and complicated than originally thought. Quality installation is important to ensure there are no problems down the line with your air ducts, which is why it is recommended to have it professionally done by those that have been trained on how to install air duct insulation. This way, you can be certain it will be done correctly and you’ll have a warranty on the work and the materials.