How difficult is it to run new AC duct?

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Folks, I just received an estimate that I think is way too high for 5 runs of AC duct work in my small home. What is involved if I attempt to do it myself? Any Gotchas? I appreciate all advice, and if any websites or other information, I would be most grateful. Thanks so much in advance, Richard
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it's a messy job for an occupied home. use a contractor and you can blame the mess on him :) see: http://www.buildingscience.com/resources/homeowner.htm
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On 1-10 its usualy a 1 if you have the tools and an easy area to work in.
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I can't see your house, but there can be plenty of "gotchas". I don't know your skill level either. Or your ability to make a custom section if needed. Or to cut hole sin walls or floors or closets.
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Planning your runs and how you are going to accomplish them. Take a lot of measurements. Sizing of ducts to get the correct volume and velocity of air. Drawing detailed diagrams for a fabricator to make pieces for you. Not all fittings are off the shelf. Working with sheet metal (Many sharp edges) - Need some specialized hand tools and good gloves. Cutting holes in walls and ceilings without damaging more than is necessary. Caulking duct connections so as to not lose precious air. Insulating ducts to get the maximum efficiency. A lot of patience if you are not used to this type of work. A hot tub would be good to have to help ease the aches and pains.
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Folks, let me explain. This is a house that is ~10 years old, and has the original flexible duct. I hope to just replace the duct, and perhaps the vents, so I don't plan on cutting any holes in walls and ceilings etc., just perhaps install new vents and connect the duct work to them.
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Richard wrote:

Is this a HV (high velocity) system?
--
Joseph Meehan

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Not that I am aware of, it is just a regular 3 ton unit.
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Richard wrote:

How big are the ducts? If they are like three inch, then they are likely HV. If they are like 6 - 8 inch then you should be good to go. It should not include any rocket science. Be careful.
Good Luck.
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Joseph Meehan

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Sounds simple to me.
First, install several lights. That one attic bulb isn't going to cut it.
First, though, take out the existing ducting. A real PITA, since it went in there when there was no roof on, but it isn't that hard to cut it into small pieces and hand it down the attic access stairs. Have a good supply of Band-Aids and first aid supplies handy.
Move and reconnect the existing wires that you have disturbed and messed up during the previous step.
Fix any holes you may have made in the ceiling by stepping on the sheetrock in the previous two steps.
Enlarge ceiling access to allow the new pieces of ductwork to be put into the space. Be sure to brace up the joists you cut so it doesn't fall into the room below. You may have to cut more than one new attic access points to get your ductwork up there, and you may have to cut a lot of joists.
Crawl around on old insulation to maneuver the ducts.
Tape them together in cramped spaces. If you have any children, put them to work. Those small arms and tiny fingers can get into some of the tight spaces.
Make new connectors to fit them snugly to the existing registers in the rooms.
Repair the joist/s you had to cut to get these things up there.
Repair all the holes where you stepped on the sheetrock and broke into the room below.
All in all, a pretty simple sounding job to me.
Steve
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in
small
Excuse me? In my area, the attic duct runs were put in after the roof was on. Sometimes the shingles had aready been installed, making it even hotter!
Now, if you're talking about the ceilings, no, they weren't in.
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WHOOSH!
Sorry if you missed my point. I will type it again slowly .......
It's a tough job any way you go at it.
YMMV.
Steve
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has
went
was
For you, maybe.
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Surely for me.
Probably not for you, since you have lots of experience.
How about for the OP?
Steve
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It is not too difficult to replace hose, but I am wondering why you are considering reinstalling something that has only lasted you ten years.
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John Grabowski wrote:

That's a good point. I was assuming the replacement would be metal rather than the flex stuff originally put in. Metal would certainly be an upgrade. However I am not sure the OP indicated he was planning metal.
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No, I am planning on using the flex duct because the metal is more difficult to join and more expensive (chief reason). And the house is ~20 years old, not 10. Sorry if I said that earlier, but it is past time for us to replace the duct.
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Richard wrote:

Ductwork can go bad? Or is it like changing oil, just something you do every 3000 miles or so?
What are the signs?
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"Here's yer sign...."
;-]
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Richard wrote:

Don't use flex duct. The stuff may be easier to use, but it also is far less efficient at moving air and as you have found out, has a shorter life. Do it right once and you don't need to do it again. Use metal.
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