Protect Your HVAC (and Lungs) from Remodeling Dust
March 16, 2018
We all know how dirty and dusty and remodeling project can be. Dirt is not only damaging to your body; it also impedes proper HVAC operation.
In order to prevent all the remodeling dust and debris from going through your lungs and your forced air system, follow these rules:
1. Review Remodeling Plan with HVAC Contractor
Speak with a professional HVAC company first. Ask about indoor air quality, ventilation, and pressurization concerns. You may need special ventilation or air cleaning during your project.
Proper ventilation and humidity control will prevent any condensation or moisture damage from developing.
2. Avoid VOCs
Have you heard of volatile organic compounds (VOCs)? Dangerous airborne contaminants can enter your home from things like paint, carpet, furniture, cleaners, and building materials. Try to choose VOC-free products.
3. Turn Off HVAC System
Whenever there is a lot of dust and debris involved, make sure your HVAC system is turned off.
4. Close Off Ventilation Grilles and Registers
Completely cover all vents and registers to prevent dust from getting drawn into the system. Closing off one or two registers won’t present any problems, but be careful not to close off too many without first speaking with an HVAC professional.
Closing off too many vents and registers can restrict airflow and cause pressurization issues with your HVAC system.
5. Work Outside as Much as You Can
Do as much prep work outside as you can. Restrict the amount of cutting, sanding, and gluing indoors. If weather prevents working outside, use a well-ventilated garage or shed instead.
6. Prep the Work Area
Isolate the remodeling area from the rest of the home with a plastic tarp, tape, and other materials. Make sure the area is fully sealed (including window openings) and has the proper ventilation system inside the enclosed area. Speak with the contractor about the plans for keeping dust and debris from spreading throughout the home.
7. Dress Appropriately
Wear appropriate clothing and use the proper respiratory device for the project.
8. Clean Frequently
Clean the work area regularly and change the HVAC air filter more frequently. Make sure contaminants are not tracked around the home by taking the time to vacuum, dust, and wipe up dust and dirt.
Protect the floor leading from the outdoors to the renovation area with plastic floor protectors. Additionally, avoid tracking filth by wearing protective shoe covers. Before hiring a contractor, ask them how they will deal with the mess.
9. Schedule a Professional HVAC Inspection
Contact an HVAC specialist after the project is completed to inspect HVAC system and ductwork.
10. Consider Professional Duct Cleaning & Sealing
Remove dirt, dust, and debris from your air ducts with professional air duct cleaning every 5-7 years. Post-remodel can be the perfect time to make sure dust, dirt, and debris aren’t compromising your heating and cooling equipment.
If you are experiencing health problems, evacuate the household and seek medical attention. Before reentering the home, contact an HVAC specialist to pinpoint and fix the air quality problem.
Will You Need to Change Your HVAC System?
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. While you may not have to install a completely new HVAC system, you may need to add some new registers, insulation, or a humidification system. To ensure proper air cycling and the associated health and comfort benefits, contact an HVAC professional before finalizing your plans.
For instance, if you install a drop ceiling to cover HVAC ductwork, you may be surprised to find water spots from dripping condensation. If you had spoken with an HVAC expert, you could have avoided this situation entirely.
If you are storing wine, art, books, or any other delicate items in the newly remodeled room, speak with an HVAC company about humidification control.
One solution to heating and air conditioning add-ons and renovated spaces is a ductless mini-split unit. These systems work much like a typical heat pump, but are smaller, sleeker, and offer zone control comfort.
For help protecting your HVAC, home, and lungs from remodeling dust and debris, contact the professionals at Fix-It 24/7.
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