Renovating your home is a dirty and stressful job. A broken heating and cooling system is even more stressful.
During a renovation, there is a lot more dust, dirt, and debris in the air than normal. These pollutants will find their way into your heating and cooling system and lower your indoor air quality or cause unnecessary stress on your system.
While you are sawing, cutting drywall, sanding, or whatever else you are doing, your return vent is sucking all that dust into your heating and cooling system.
That’s what air filters are for, right?
Yes and no. Your air filter, depending on the MERV rating, will most likely filter out most of the renovation dust. It will also build up and restrict air flow faster than normal.
The particles that you don’t see, such as dander, mold, spores, and other minute particles may not be filtered out. They may be getting recirculated through your entire home.
There are some things you can do to protect your heating and cooling systems from your renovation.
Turn your heating and cooling system off.
If possible, turn your entire system off while you are renovating. After you are done for the day, clean up and turn your system back on.
Seal off the area you are working in.
If you can’t turn off your entire system, hang plastic to isolate the room you are working in. Try to keep the pollutants away from your return vent.
Replace your filter.
Normally your filter should be checked monthly and replaced as needed. During a renovation, you will need to check your filter more frequently and replace it as needed. If you are cutting drywall without protecting your system, you may need to change your filter weekly.
Clean your ducts.
After you are done renovating, you will most likely have dust, dirt, dander, and other pollutants in your ducts. Hire someone to come out and clean your ducts.
Renovations are expensive enough. Take the time to protect your heating and cooling system so you don’t have to spend extra money for repairs.