Ductwork refers to the channels that air conditioning systems use to draw air from throughout a building and circulate it back out evenly through all major spaces. Ductwork is a very important part of the heating system. Cracked or broken ductwork can cause heat transference and make the system work harder, wasting money. Adding heating ductwork into a house can be an expensive process but is necessary for many air conditioner types.
Adding ductwork is an unusual project. Most ductwork is placed in houses during construction work. But if homeowners need to add ductwork, in 2011 the cost was around $3,000 to $5,000 for the ductwork insulation alone without any unit. Not only is the ductwork a separate expense, but it can take a large amount of time and contractor labor to install. This is for an average-size house that is designed to allow ductwork installation. For very old houses that were not designed for ductwork, prices may be much higher.
Common repairs refer to any work that existing ducts may need. For instance, in 2011 an electronic air filter cost between $500 and $800. Cleanings for air ducts that have mold problems can also run several hundred dollars or more for an average home. Making the system more complex cost $2,000 to $3,000 when adding heating functions or expanding the system. Costs vary widely for many of these repairs based on location and contractor.
Extra ductwork projects can easily add costs to the overall amount homeowners must consider. For instance, converting water-based heating to air-based heating with ductwork will cost more, up to $10,000 for an average house and easily more for a two-story home. Removing asbestos or other problem materials to make room for the ducts can also cost around $10,000.
Units are typically sold and installed along with ductwork, combining the costs together. Usually, adding ductwork costs about as much as the unit itself, between $3,500 and $4,000. Many different air conditioning units are available, however. A gas furnace can cost extra money for a high-efficiency unit while heat pumps can be costly as well. Geothermal units can save money in the long term but can cost more than $10,000 to install.