HVAC Tips / November 19, 2019

Maintain Air Quality During and After a Remodel Job

When you undertake a home remodel, you know your life will be turned upside down for a while. You probably make plans to sacrifice some comfort for the greater good — improved living space. However, one area you shouldn’t have to make too much of a sacrifice is air quality. Take steps to ensure you have good air quality both during and right after a remodel job.

Contain Work Areas
Reputable contractors should put up barriers to contain work areas. They may use specialized equipment to suck up dust before it flies everywhere, but some dust will still escape. So, at bare minimum, they should put up plastic barriers to seal off the room they’re working on.

They also need to take precautions to protect your HVAC system. Make sure they use plastic to block off the vents in the room they’re working on. If they do any work around the air conditioner or furnace, make sure those items are protected with a plastic barrier, too.

Devise a Schedule
Maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature is difficult during a home remodel. If the contractors have to block off a return vent or one of the HVAC units, you can’t safely run your air conditioner or heater. If outdoor weather is temperate, you may still be comfortable without AC or heat. However, you can run into trouble in the cold or hot months.

Ideally, try to schedule work that requires shutting off your HVAC unit while you’re away from home. You may have to devise a coordinated schedule if your hours aren’t the same as the contractors. Talk with them to devise a schedule that works for everyone.

Clean Air Ducts Afterward
You’re going to do your best to keep dust and debris out of your air ducts. However, dust may work its way in despite your best efforts. The danger is that that dust will be blown out into your living areas as soon as you turn your unit on. Schedule an air duct cleaning after the remodel job is finished.

Such a cleaning is especially important if you’ve had asbestos abatement or lead paint removed. If you breathe in dust from either of those materials, you may experience negative consequences to your health. A little extra money for a duct cleaning will prevent that.

Change Air Filter Afterward
You should change out your air filter at least every three months to maintain your home’s air quality and extend the life of your HVAC unit. However, if dust got into your air ducts, it passed through your air filter, too. The filter hopefully did its job and trapped that dust. You’ll have an extra-dirty filter as a result.

If you’re on the cusp of needing to change the filter just before the remodel job starts, consider leaving it until afterward. However, don’t run your HVAC unit with a dirty filter for weeks on end just to postpone changing it before undergoing the remodel job.

Clean AC Unit Afterward
In the same vein, you may want to clean your AC unit after the remodel job, especially if the contractors worked anywhere near it. You should clean the unit once a year anyway, so you can use the remodel time to stay on that schedule.

Besides changing out the filter, take some time to take apart the unit casing and wipe or hose it down. Pay special attention to the fins to ensure they’re clean and straight. You can give the whole unit a wipe-down while you have it open. Likewise, take some time to check for loose bolts, screws, or wires.

Don’t sacrifice your air quality during or after a home remodel. Take the above steps to ensure your air is clean and comfortable at all times. If you need any help with your HVAC system, including post-remodel cleaning or servicing, contact Mauzy Heating, Air & Solar.

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