Your HVAC system is a significant investment. Inspecting it regularly and replacing it if it shows signs of wear is essential. You might not need to replace it after 20 years, but it is still important to replace it if it shows signs of wear or if it is leaking. Fortunately, you don’t have to tear down walls and ceilings to replace your ductwork.

The EPA recommends cleaning the ducts if you notice any mild mold growth. But it is time to replace the vents if you notice large outgrowths or see rusted metal. Make sure you remove the mold and rust first. You can clean the ducts for as long as 20 years, but they will likely need to be replaced sooner. You should replace it only if the mold has reached the ducts’ interiors.

Another sign that your ductwork needs replacing is if your utility bills are skyrocketing. These increases can be caused by several reasons, including a faulty furnace or ductwork. If the ductwork is leaking, you could be putting your family’s health at risk. Dirty air can cause mold and vermin to build up in the ducts.

Despite being concealed, air ducts are essential to your home’s ventilation system. They carry air from room to room and throughout the house. As with other parts of your home’s design, it will require regular repair and replacement. You’ll want to keep an eye on it to keep the system working correctly. But before you get started, it is helpful to have a checklist to check whether your ductwork needs replacement.

Inefficient ductwork can lead to inconsistent temperature zones, increased energy bills, and a foul odor. If you notice these issues, contact an HVAC professional for a thorough evaluation. There are some simple fixes that you can perform on your own, including sealing duct leaks with mastic and checking for leaks, but total duct replacement will require professional expertise. If the ductwork is too old to be repaired or replaced, you may have to replace the entire system.