Deciding on Whether to Replace or Clean Ducts

Deciding on Whether to Replace or Clean Ducts

A home’s ductwork is one of the more vital components of its heating and cooling system and should be maintained regularly to prolong the life of the unit. This maintenance includes deciding to replace or clean ducts, which is determined by a few factors.


As with most building components, ductwork can come in several material types, each offering its own set of benefits and drawbacks, including ease of cleaning it. Ductwork often comes in one of three materials: metal, plastic or fiberboard. If your home has unlined metal ducts, they will be much easier to clean than their counterparts due to their more durable construction. Plastic ductwork is a little more complicated to clean due to the thin sides and delicate wire structures, while fiberboard ductwork is the hardest to clean properly.


Advances in technology and ductwork design have led to higher efficiency capabilities of modern heating and cooling systems. The older your ductwork, the more likely you will need to replace it instead of cleaning. This will not only help improve your indoor air quality, but also increase the efficiency of the whole, which will help to lower your heating and cooling bill. An experienced HVAC professional will be able to tell you if the age of your system indicates you should replace or clean ducts.


By far the most telling sign of whether you should replace or clean ducts is the overall condition of the ductwork. If yours are showing signs of damage, such as being crushed or corroded, then it might be worth replacing the ductwork because damages can reduce the efficiency and cost more in the long run. The type of contamination is also a major factor. Mold and moisture, for example, are much more difficult to clean out properly, particularly in fiberboard and plastic ductwork.

For more information on what to look for when deciding to replace or clean ducts, or to request a ductwork inspection, please contact the friendly and professional staff at Aggressive Mechanical Contractors Inc. For three generations they’ve helped the Monmouth Country area maintain a comfortable home.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Csehak-Szabolcs/Shutterstock”

Close Menu