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Question DetailsAsked on 2/7/2017

how much ductwork for a 2500 sq.ft house

house has a 5-ton split unit. ductwork was destroyed in a fire.

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1 Answer


Sorry to hear of your loss.

If you had that major a fire, your remediation, general, or HVAC contractor should be able to answer that question - or are you looking for a number for comparison. But assuming this is a two-story house, I would be thinking (not including drywall/painting repair of the access holes if drywall is in place) in the ballpark $5000 range with ducted system, give or take a couple thousand - you may be pleasantly surprised, but then again maybe not depending on how easy the ducting is to retrofit. And if the electricians or plumbers get in there before the HVAC contractor, can raise the cost substantially at times because of interferences - because (especially with rigid ducting) it cannot work around the other utilities as they can with ducting.

Note this replacement would usually be done by the same HVAC contractor replacing your furnace and A/C if they were fire damaged too.

I am a bit confused because you said you have a 5-ton split unit - which if you mean a 5-ton mini-split heat pump, or a 5-ton A/C mini-split, then this is a trick question - ducting cost would be zero in most cases because mini-splits are ductless - they run the pressure tubing directly to the wall-mounted fan/evaporator units, with no ducting. For that I would expect $250-500 range to replace just the tubing - not including heat pump/AC or the wall-mount evaporator units which commonly run about $250-500 each installed. If you mean a split central unint - so two zones on one central air system, then following paragraphs apply.

Regardless of type of unti, don't forget power and thermostat/control wiring needs to be replaced too, probably - and maybe the thermostats too.

Replacement cost depends a LOT on accessibility - reasonable headroom crawlspace or open basement or attic installation can run from ballpark $5-15/LF range for flexible duct or more commonly $20-30/LF for rigid metal - plastic or fiberglass round ducting where allowed in between those. Get into in-floor or second story work where you are trying to minimize removing drywall and you can quickly get into the $25-40/LF range depending on access and of course on how much large dimension ducting you have to run before the individual branches come off it. Large main duct manifold systems with short offshoot runs to the individual rooms tend to be a lot cheaper than systems where it manifolds near the furnace and has lots of long, larger branch runs, because the cost tends to be related more to lineal feet of ducting to be installed (labor cost) than the cost ofthe ducting itself, which (duct material only) is commonly $1-5/LF for normal sized flexible duct (yuck) or more like $5-10/LF range for normal branch rigid ducting - though up to $10-20/LF for very large manifold sizes.

And those cost ranges do NOT include repairing the drywall and repainting the access holes - though some or all of that might pretty much be covered by the fire damage repairs anyway, or if the drywall is being stripped out entirely to replace most of the utility runs in the walls and maybe floors.

You don't say if you are gutting the house (removing the drywall or not) - if the studs and ceilings are wide open, could make as much as about a 2:1 difference in the installed cost for the replacement ducting.

Here are a couple of related prior question with answer links which might help too FYI -

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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