How To Move Hvac Duct

A Complete Guide To Move HAVC Duct
  • Author: Amanda Arnold
  • Posted On: October 26, 2022
  • Updated On: August 21, 2023

Your home’s rooms receive air from the central air conditioner through air conditioning vents to keep it cool. You can easily relocate one of these vents if you discover it is inconveniently placed or needs to be more effectively cooling a space.

Long-term, it enables you to reduce your air conditioning bill. Air is distributed through supply ducts for air conditioning and heating systems, and the air is drawn in by return ducts. These ducts end at grills in a room’s walls or ceiling.

The ducts may occasionally be temporarily abandoned while construction occurs when tearing down a wall. Before destroying the wall, the ductwork must be moved if the air conditioning or heating system must continue functioning.

Steps To Move HVAC Duct

Prepare The Area

Position a stepladder near a grill. A power or cordless drill and the proper tip attachment can be used to loosen and remove the screws or pan nuts from the grill’s face. The grill should be taken off and the nuts or screws saved. Remove the screws that hold the rigid duct’s square end to the wall framing from within.

Remove Wall Finishing Sections

Prepare a reciprocating saw with the correct blade for the drywall or wood paneling finish. Cut vertically along each side of the grill opening for the walls, beginning at the bottom edges and going up to the ceiling.

Using a nail bar and a hammer, remove the wall finish portion. If the grill entrance is at the ceiling, skip this step.

Remove Ductworks Screws

Find the equivalent flexible ductwork in the attic that joins the rigid duct. Remove any screws holding duct straps to the attic structure by loosening and removing them. Eliminate the straps. Remove the connection where the rigid duct’s circular end joins the flexible duct.

Use a utility knife to remove any remaining duct tape before removing the duct screws. Pull the rigid duct part away from the wall. Keep this part.

Select A New Location For Ducts

Decide where to place the grill. This could be at the ceiling or on the surface of another wall. To mark the hole’s location in the finished ceiling or wall, use the rigid duct’s square end as a reference. Utilizing the reciprocating saw, make the hole.

If you come across framing members, relocate the spot in either direction, so the hole is between the pieces.

Remove Wall Framing Plates

When a grill is on a wall’s face, cut a chunk off of the top plates of the wall framing to provide room for the stiff duct installation. As a reference point for marking the plates, use the rigid duct’s square end as a guide.

The reciprocating saw should be used to cut a hole for the duct through the top plates. From above, place the rigid duct’s square end into the aperture. When installing the grill at the ceiling, skip this step.

Align The Ducts At New Position

Place the duct so that the open square end faces the hole in the wall or ceiling. With framing nails and a hammer, attach the ends of the blocks to the nearby frame and place them on each side of the rigid duct to complete the installation.

By inserting screws into the holes left by the former screws that were removed, you can secure the rigid duct’s square end to the blocking.

Install Flex Ducts

The rigid duct’s round end should face the open end of the existing flexible duct. To finish the run to the rigid duct, if more flex duct is required, install a new section of it. With duct tape, you may seal and protect the connection to the pre-existing duct.

Connect Ends With Self-Tapping Screws

Use self-tapping duct screws to attach the flexible duct’s end to the rigid duct’s circular end. Use duct tape to tape the joint. Connect the flex duct to the attic structure using duct straps and drywall screws. Using sheet metal cutters, trim the straps to the desired length.

When you have moved the grill, reattach it to the wall’s face.

Hire Professionals If You Don’t Know The Ducts Job

You must use the same materials or hire a pro if you move your return air vent. Because most firms add a markup to their products, you might save money if you buy the ingredients yourself.

However, you will also need to buy the necessary tools, which could drive the project cost more than hiring a pro would.


Consider a position that can pull air equally from all areas of your house when choosing where to put your newly relocated return air vent. The return air should ideally be closer to the floor if your supply vents are in the ceiling. Conversely, this is accurate. The return should ideally be raised if supply vents are on the floor.

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Author: Amanda Arnold

Amanda has been working with ConstructionHow since 2021. Her experience spans over 5 years in the creative niche such as home decor and trends, landscaping, renovations, and custom architectural values. As a home designer expert, she has a keen eye for the latest home improvement trends with accurate facts that readers find impossible to ignore. Being invested in home-building trends is how she has gained her lucrative expertise exploring more to bring a positive ambiance for all homeowners (and even tenants!). Currently, she lives in a beautiful beach home, a source of fascination for her.