ductwork running along the exposed ceiling in a basement


Originally contributed by Jeff Butler • last updated 1/21/2021

Ductwork is often the last thing on someone’s mind when they are starting a home renovation project, but it can quickly become a real problem if they don’t plan ahead for it.


The term ductwork often refers to a system or network of air ducts (ventilation shafts) used to distribute forced airflow from the heating and cooling systems to the rooms throughout a home or building. Sometimes, separate air ducts can connect appliances, such as dryers, directly to the outside. Ductwork can come in many configurations, sizes, shapes, and materials, and often requires custom installation by a professional or an experienced DIYer. Properly installed ductwork, can increase the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems, and reduce your energy usage and costs. Ductwork insulation can also help improve efficiencies and prevent condensation build-up.

A Couple Of Things About Ductwork

Your heating and cooling systems rely on the ductwork throughout your home to deliver a healthy and comfortable airflow. Proper installation and maintenance of your air ducts will help ensure it’s working properly:

  • It’s recommended that you clean your ductwork every few years in order to keep it properly maintained. However, unless there is a noticeable problem, your air filters should do most of the work for you.
  • It’s possible to install ductwork yourself but it’s probably a good idea to get a professional to help. Properly installed ductwork can reduce energy waste and help save you money on your bills.