How Long Does Metal Duct Last?

How Long Does Metal Duct Last

How Long Does Metal Duct Last?

Metal ducting is essential to many aspects of our lives. Whether it is for heating, ventilation, air conditioning, or cooling, metal ducting is a multi-functional tool in plumbing, construction and electrics. So useful are ducting, that the global air duct market is expected to grow to a whopping $12.16 billion by the year 2028!

In this article, we will answer as many ‘frequently asked questions’ as we can about metal ducts, including the question ‘how long does metal duct last?’

What is ducting?

Ducting are conduits or tubes, that typically form as part of a ventilation system, used to convey air throughout a building.

A duct can also be a length of underground piping, made of PVC, which is used to house electrical and communication cables.

Additionally, duct pipes can also deliver or remove substances or energy, acting as a passage or channel.

There are different types of ducting used in ventilation systems:

  • flexible ductwork, which can be bent and manipulated in different positions
  • rigid ductwork, which is durable, versatile, and comes in many different shapes, materials and sizes
  • semi-rigid ductwork, which has a healthy balance of durability and flexibility

Where is ducting used?

There are various environments where ducting is required, for instance:

  • In heating
  • In ventilation systems
  • In air conditioning systems
  • For power supplies
  • For water pipes
  • For gas pipes
  • For boiler systems
  • For tumble dryers
  • For chimneys
  • In the construction industry
  • To remove exhaust fumes in cars
  • For electrical services
  • For traffic lights, traffic signals and street lights
  • For Internet connections, cable TV, phone lines and telecoms services
  • In the food industry, to transport ingredients in production lines
How Long Does Metal Duct Last
How Long Does Metal Duct Last

Read more content about Ducting

If you would like to learn more about ducting, you may find it useful to read our blog articles on:

Can mould grow in ducts?

Yes, mould can grow and thrive in ductwork and air vents. The fungus loves a damp, humid, environment, and it feeds on the moisture found in walls, ceilings, and areas where there are condensation and poor ventilation (such as bathrooms and kitchens).

Ductwork are dark, enclosed spaces, that don’t get checked very often. Over time, moisture might accumulate inside the ducts, which creates the perfect conditions for mould to grow.

The fungus can spread throughout the rest of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. This means that the mould can worsen allergies and conditions like asthma, eczema and respiratory diseases.

How Long Does Metal Duct Last
How Long Does Metal Duct Last

What are signs of mould in ducts?

Mould may not be visible to the eye, so look out for the following signs of the fungus in your ducts and HVAC system:

  • Musty, foul smell: the unpleasant, earthy odour can spread to other rooms of your house.
  • Black dust or black spots: there may be slimy black spots that are not easy to clean, or you may see black dust blowing when you turn on your HVAC system.
  • Increased moisture: if you notice damp patches
  • Allergy symptoms and infections: the mould can trigger nasty fits of sneezing and coughing, as well as itchy eyes, runny nose, scratchy throat, headaches, skin rashes, difficulty breathing and fatigue.

How do you get rid of mould in ducts?

  1. If you notice mould growing in your air ducts, then don’t turn on your HVAC system. Having the system running may spread the mould throughout your home.
  2. Consult a professional plumber or mould removal specialist. A professional will have the correct equipment to deal with the mould safely and efficiently,
  3. Never touch mould with your bare hands. You should always wear protective gloves and a face mask when you are exposed to mould, as it can be dangerous if you inhale the toxins.
How Long Does Metal Duct Last
How Long Does Metal Duct Last

How long does metal duct last?

So, how long does metal duct last?

Metal ducting lasts for years. The maximum lifespan is usually 20 to 25 years, with proper care.

However, we would recommend replacing your ductwork every 10 to 15 years.

Over time, your ducting could develop holes, dents and punctures. These would cause leaks, or allow pollen, dust, mould and contaminants to enter your air supply. This dirty, contaminated air will make its way into the air that you and your family breathe. So, this can cause skin irritation and worsen conditions like allergy and asthma.

Therefore, replacing your ducting regularly will help create a safer, cleaner environment in your home.

What are signs that my air ducts need replacing?

Air ducts are something that homeowners may forget to think about paying attention to or replacing.

So, what are the common signs that your air ducts need replacing?

  • There is poor airflow in your house.
  • The HVAC system is not cooling your room sufficiently.
  • There is mould in your air ducts.
  • Your HVAC system emits a foul odour.
  • Your HVAC system is more noisier than usual.
  • You or your family members are experiencing more allergy-like symptoms, such as sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes, runny nose, scratchy throat and headaches.

Which is better, metal or plastic ducting?

That really depends on your requirements. Both types of ducting will bring their own strengths.

Plastic ducting tends to be cheaper than its metal counterparts, but they both offer durability, efficiency and longevity.

Read on below to find out more about the differences between metal and plastic ducting:

Plastic Ducting

How Long Does Metal Duct Last
How Long Does Metal Duct Last

Plastic ducting is usually made from PVC. It is a durable, lightweight material, generally used when installing an extractor fan or passive ventilation system to control condensation or mould growth. You may choose plastic ducting to vent to the exterior of your property too.

Plastic ducting is typically used as ventilation within domestic properties, principally within student flats and modernisations. It is preferred because of its lightness, its airtight properties & durability. It is usually used in rooms such as bathrooms and kitchens, and HVAC systems.

At I-Sells, our lightweight PVC-coated ductwork is manufactured from high-quality uPVC and is designed to create minimal air resistance, maximum airflow and minimal pressure loss.

We provide plastic ducting lengths, connectors, bends, brackets, and accessories such as reducers, attenuators and other fittings.

Metal Ducting    

Metal ducting is ideal for ventilation systems set up in hotter environments, an example being a cooker hood. Metal ducting is also a popular choice for spaces and environments with air rich in certain compounds that could be hazardous or damaging to standard choices.

HVAC experts and engineers typically choose to rely on stainless steel for aggressive environments, where corrosion is highly likely.

At I-Sells, we provide round ductwork fittings and accessories in a large range of diameters to suit all purposes including HVAC systems and extractor fans. Our metal ductwork is manufactured from high-quality galvanised Aluminium. 

Do metal ducts rust?

Yes, it is possible for rust to develop in your metal air ducts. This is due to condensation and moisture left behind after cold air passes through the ducts. The rust, which is a reddish-brown form of corrosion, may weaken the ducting to and eventually cause it to disintegrate.

If you notice rust on your metal ducts, you can try spraying it with rust remover, as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

How Long Does Metal Duct Last
How Long Does Metal Duct Last

About I-Sells

Established in 2005, I-Sells is the UK’s largest ducting and ventilation supplier.

With a vast range of products available online, I-Sells is a one-stop shop for all ventilation supplies. A family-run business, the company will help you find the parts you need- whether it is a commercial project or a small DIY project.​

From plastic ducting and metal ducting, to extract fans, flexible hoses and mould control tools, there are thousands of useful products available. The product range is constantly increasing to meet customers’ requirements and expectations.​

We stock and offer next day delivery on thousands of our products, with free delivery on any order over £100.

The expert team at I-Sells can provide expert advice about the products and how they can be used to solve your problems or improve your home.​

Most products help solve damp and condensation-related problems. I-Sells also has one of the largest selections of plastic and metal ducting available online.​

In most cases, I-Sells can also manufacture a custom-dimension product for you- contact the company for more information.​

I-Sells was co-founded by Ingrid Sells, who was aware as a youngster that her surname would suit the name of a shop one day!​​

To find out more about I-Sells, visit the company website here, or email​ Alternatively, call us on 020 8463 9696.

To visit us at our showroom:


Monday – Friday: 8:00 am to 5:30 pm

Saturday: 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Sunday: Closed

15 St John’s Parade

Sidcup, Kent

DA14 6ES

United Kingdom

Keep up with I-Sells on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube here.

We hope we have answered the question ‘how long does metal duct last?’

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