Why A/C Ductwork Replacement May Be Your Solution

The A/C ductwork in your home plays a vital role in your HVAC system, especially during the hot Phoenix & Tucson summer months when it’s essential for cooling your home. However, since most ductwork is hidden, it’s easy to overlook potential issues that can affect its performance. Undetected damage in your A/C ductwork can have significant consequences, compromising indoor air quality, impacting your family’s health, and increasing your energy bills.

It’s important to recognize that indoor air pollution can be two to five times higher than outdoor pollution, and as Americans, we spend approximately 90% of our time indoors. In Arizona, where we rely heavily on air-conditioned spaces to escape the intense heat, dust can pose a particular challenge due to our dry climate.

In some cases, repairing old and damaged ducts may not be the best solution. Opting to replace your existing A/C ductwork can offer several benefits. To help you determine if it’s time for an A/C ductwork replacement, here are some valuable tips from the HVAC and plumbing experts at Chas Roberts.

Understanding Ductwork

Ductwork plays a vital role in your HVAC system’s performance. It functions as the circulatory system, distributing conditioned air throughout your home.

Air Distribution: Ductwork delivers heated or cooled air from the HVAC system to different rooms or areas within a home.

Air Return: Ductwork also collects the air from various rooms and returns it to the HVAC system for reconditioning. This process helps maintain balanced airflow, temperature regulation, and efficient operation of the HVAC system.

Air Filtration: Ductwork incorporates filters that capture dust, allergens, and other particles present in the air, thus improving air quality.

Air Balancing: Well-designed ductwork includes dampers and registers that allow airflow adjustment in different rooms or zones.

Energy Efficiency: Properly sealed and insulated ductwork minimizes air leaks, preventing the loss of conditioned air and reducing energy waste.

Noise Reduction: Ductwork with insulation helps dampen and reduce the noise generated by the HVAC system.

Over time, ductwork can deteriorate, leading to various issues that compromise comfort, air quality, and energy efficiency. Let’s

Signs Ductwork Needs to Be Replaced

Age and Deterioration

Ductwork has a lifespan typically ranging from 15 to 25 years. As it ages, ducts can deteriorate due to wear and tear, leading to leaks, cracks, or disconnected sections. If your ductwork is reaching or surpassing this age range, it’s recommended to consider replacement to avoid further issues.

Visible Damage

Have a Chas Robert technician inspect your ductwork for visible signs of damage, such as holes, gaps, or separated sections. These issues can occur due to poor installation, pest infestation, or physical damage. Damaged and disconnected ducts hinder proper airflow and contribute to energy loss, making replacement necessary.

Inconsistent Air Flow or Temperature

If you notice uneven air flow or inconsistent temperatures in different areas of your home, it could indicate ductwork problems. Leaks or blockages within the ducts disrupt the proper distribution of conditioned air, resulting in hot and cold spots. AC ductwork replacement helps ensure balanced airflow and consistent temperatures throughout your home.

Excessive Dust and Poor Air Quality

Old or damaged ductwork can accumulate dust, debris, and allergens. If you frequently notice excessive dust buildup on furniture or experience worsening indoor air quality, it may be time for ductwork replacement.

According to the Energy Star website, leaking ductwork can also cause “back-drafting,” where combustion gasses from the normal operation of appliances are drawn back into the living spaces in your home rather than being pushed outside as they should be. As combustion gasses may include carbon monoxide, back drafting caused by poorly sealed or damaged ducts can threaten your family’s health and safety.

New ducts with proper sealing help prevent the circulation of pollutants and allergens, improving your home’s air quality.

Increased Energy Bills

Leaky or inefficient ductwork can cause significant energy loss, leading to higher heating and cooling bills. If your energy costs have been steadily rising without any other apparent reasons, your ductwork might be to blame. Replacing the ducts with well-sealed and properly insulated ones can help improve energy efficiency and reduce your utility expenses.

Strange Odors or Smell

If your house has a musty smell when your air conditioner runs, it could be a sign of mold in the ductwork. Mold or mildew blowing through the ducts and into your home is a serious problem that poses a health threat to your family and needs to be addressed immediately.

A small amount of mold growth in the ducts can be removed by professional cleaning, but a large mold overgrowth may make duct replacement the best option.

Remodeling or Renovating Your Home

If you’re reconfiguring spaces in your home or adding on a new room, your existing ductwork may no longer work with your new floorplan. In this situation, you may be better off replacing your ductwork than reconfiguring it for additional space, especially if you already have older ductwork.

Benefits of Replacing Ductwork

Improved Energy Efficiency: New ductwork, properly installed and sealed, significantly reduces air leakage, and minimizes energy loss. By optimizing the airflow, your HVAC system can operate more efficiently, reducing energy consumption and lowering utility bills.

Enhanced Indoor Comfort: With a well-designed and correctly sized duct system, you’ll enjoy even temperatures and improved airflow in every part of your home. Say goodbye to hot and cold spots, and experience optimal comfort throughout the year.

Better Air Quality: Upgraded ductwork means cleaner air circulating within your home. By eliminating leaks and preventing the accumulation of dust and allergens, you and your family can breathe easier and enjoy a healthier living environment.

Longevity of HVAC Equipment: Ductwork replacement not only improves system performance but also extends the lifespan of your HVAC equipment. When your HVAC system doesn’t have to work as hard due to efficient ductwork, it experiences less wear and tear, resulting in fewer breakdowns and a longer lifespan.

Increased Property Value: Upgrading your ductwork demonstrates your commitment to maintaining a high-quality home. When it comes time to sell, having a well-functioning HVAC system with new ductwork can be an attractive selling point, potentially increasing the value of your property.

Tips for Maintaining Your Ductwork and HVAC System

Replacing the ductwork in your home can’t compensate for a poorly maintained HVAC system. Your system needs regular professional maintenance to operate at peak performance.

Chas Roberts has a 26-point maintenance plan for the cooling and heating seasons that inspects the inside and outside of your system.

The cooling system checklist includes:

  • Check refrigerant levels
  • Inspect disconnect switch
  • Check amperage draw on compressor
  • Clean condenser coil
  • Test starting capabilities
  • Measure volts/amps on motors
  • Test safety controls
  • Lubricate all moving parts
  • Adjust thermostat calibration
  • Tighten electrical connections
  • And more

A smoothly running, well-maintained HVAC system means higher energy efficiency, better indoor air quality, and fewer repairs.


The condition of your home’s A/C ductwork is often overlooked, yet it plays a critical role in the functioning of your HVAC system. Even if you have the most efficient air conditioner, its ability to keep your house cool and comfortable during the summer months can be compromised if your ducts are leaking, damaged, or simply too old to perform effectively.

A/C ductwork replacement can be the ideal solution when it comes to ensuring improved air quality, higher energy efficiency, and increased comfort in your home. By addressing issues with your ductwork, you can enhance the overall performance of your HVAC system, allowing for better airflow, more precise temperature control, and reduced energy waste.

Don’t underestimate the importance of your ductwork’s condition. While it may be unseen, its impact on your home’s comfort and efficiency should not be disregarded. Considering A/C ductwork replacement can significantly improve air quality, energy savings, and, ultimately a more comfortable living environment.

Family-owned and operated Chas Roberts is the largest HVAC company in Arizona and has been in business for over 75 years. Contact our Tucson office at 520.549.4172 or our Metro Phoenix office at 602.386.2732.