Remodeling dust can damage your HVAC System. Protect It.
A remodeling project can add value to your home and make it feel new again. But if you don’t take care of your HVAC system in the process, you could end up with another remodeling project to undo the damage. The easiest way to protect your system is to remodel during the warm months, keep the system turned off and tape over the ducts. But what if leaving the system off isn’t possible?
Open Vents during Construction and Damage from Dust
Open vents, especially those on the floor, allow dust and debris to collect in the air handler and on the coils of your HVAC system. Cleaning this kind of debris is not an easy task. At best, you’ll have an expensive cleaning bill after remodeling. At worst, you’ll have a damaged system in need of extensive repairs.
During the cooler months, especially in moist climates, heat is needed not only to keep workers comfortable, but also to help dry building materials like paint or plaster. This is also true of excessively hot weather, but we worry less about this in the northwest. In either case, you need a way to keep dust out of vents without restricting airflow.
Talk to Your HVAC Contractor before Remodeling Starts
Many aspects of a remodeling project can affect the performance of your HVAC system. If you change the space, you may need to change the ductwork for optimal performance. Your HVAC contractor can also point out other aspects of your remodeling plans that may need tweaking to provide optimum cooling and heating efficiency. This gives you time to alter plans and consider different options, rather than finding out your remodeling project left cool or hot spots after the work is done.
Keeping the Dust Out
Despite your best efforts, construction dust gets around. You can purchase ventilation debris prevention plates made specifically for this purpose. You first pull your existing vent covers and then fit in the vent filters in the rough openings. After construction, you simply swap them back out.
Fiberglass filter media pads are a low cost option for air return wall vents. You can buy this material from an industrial supply seller for next to nothing and cut them to fit. This is not a good solution for floor vents because they collect more debris than other areas and the filter will not keep all particles from entering.
Finally, change your system’s filter every few weeks during construction. You may not be able to see the tiny dust particles blocking airflow and straining your HVAC system. Once the project is complete, call for an HVAC inspection to be certain your efforts in keeping the system clean worked.
Ask MM Comfort Systems for Advice before You Remodel
The experts at MM Comfort Systems can offer advice on your remodeling project to ensure your HVAC design is a good fit. We can also help you keep your HVAC system in good condition before, during and after remodeling. Call us at 425.533.9058, or use our online contact form to arrange for a free HVAC consultation.