What Is the Cost to Move HVAC Ductwork?

You might consider moving HVAC ductwork to improve efficiency or add living space. A simple ductwork modification can cost a few hundred dollars. However, you may spend thousands to replace ductwork and move it to a different location. The expenses of such a project depend on a few factors, so can vary significantly from one job to another. Here’s a closer look at the cost to move HVAC ductwork in a typical home.

Can Moving HVAC Ductwork Save Money?

Oversized ductwork can cause your HVAC equipment to run longer, increasing energy costs, or not run long enough, leading to humidity problems. It can also lead to uneven heating or cooling. Undersized ducts won’t move enough air, which can affect comfort and strain HVAC equipment, possibly increasing repair costs and shortening its lifespan.

Poor ductwork placement can result in efficiency issues. If a duct is run through an unconditioned space like a basement or attic, heat loss can strain the system. Ductwork air leaks can waste a significant amount of energy. Patching them may not be enough, so it might be time to replace and move your ductwork.

High-quality, well-placed ductwork can result in:

  • Proper heating and cooling for all floors
  • Even temperature distribution in your home
  • Moisture control in every room
  • Improved HVAC equipment efficiency
  • Improved indoor air quality
  • Reduced energy bills

Cost Factors When Moving HVAC Ductwork

A few factors impact the cost of moving ductwork. But relocating ducts can be more cost-saving in the long run than, for example, creating a drop ceiling or making structural changes to your home. The cost of the project often depends on:

  • Duct Materials: Metal ductwork tends to be costlier to install than flex duct. Nonetheless, flexible ductwork can cost more in reduced efficiency, especially if kinks and twists restrict airflow. Hard pipe ductwork is free of internal ridges that can inhibit airflow. While flex ducts are installed more quickly, metal ducts reduce energy costs over time.
  • Duct Length: Contractors often quote ductwork prices by linear foot. Shorter runs cost less to install than long runs. Therefore, running a duct line from the basement to a master bedroom on the second floor will cost up to several times more than running the line to a first-floor room..
  • Return Air Drop Replacement: The return air drop, located near the furnace or air handler, accepts excess air to help regulate system air pressure. This step adds equipment and labor costs. Depending on your HVAC system, a second return air drop may be needed, which would theoretically double the cost of this part of the project.
  • Labor: In addition to the contractor’s base installation fee, consider the cost of opening ceilings, floors, or walls to remove/install ducts. The required equipment and time add to the expenses. In addition, the contractor may need to call in electrical, plumbing, or construction specialists depending on the project.

As we’ve hinted at, moving ductwork may require other changes to your home. The process may require moving electrical lines and other equipment to access or make room for new ducts. In extreme cases, changes to support columns, load-bearing walls, and other structural elements may be required. The installer may need the help of a structural engineer to make such modifications.

Contact Black Hills Home Services to Learn More

The cost to move HVAC ductwork is a major consideration. Ductwork installation and relocation must also be done correctly for your HVAC system to be reliable and efficient. At Black Hills Home Services, we provide high-quality AC/heating installation services and can install ductless mini-split systems. We also provide air duct cleaning and other air quality services to ensure your indoor air is easier to breathe. To learn more, call 888-579-5905.