The lifespan of ducts is typically between 20 to 25 years, but they start to deteriorate after 15 years, which can significantly reduce the efficiency of the air conditioning system. Therefore, replacing them is often the most prudent option. If you experience any problems with your ducts, such as damage, blockages, or strange noises when air flows through them, it may be necessary to repair or replace them. There is no simple answer to the question of whether replacing ductwork is worth it. Upgrading ductwork will certainly improve the efficiency of your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, but it can be difficult to justify the cost of a full replacement.
Depending on the characteristics of your home, you may get more out of your future heating and cooling investments by focusing on other components first. A qualified HVAC technician can determine if a full duct repair or replacement is necessary and provide you with expert advice. Air ducts are often overlooked due to their hidden location, but they still need attention, maintenance, repairs, and even replacement from time to time. For example, it may be more cost-effective to install insulation in the attic and seal and insulate accessible ducts before tearing out the walls and replacing all the ducts. Like all HVAC equipment, air ducts wear out over time, so it's important to have them checked and possibly replaced every 10 years or so.