Renovating a home is very exciting and very scary, usually in equal measure. You’re excited to see what your home will look like, but you’re worried about what could go wrong. Common HVAC problems are one of the things many homeowners overlook during renovations until it’s too late.
Knowing what to look for ahead of time can help to save you tons of time and money down the road. Keep reading to discover the common HVAC problems to look at before renovating!
One thing that pretty much all renovations have in common is that they are going to leave a lot of dust in the air while you work. And while you and your family might be ready for that, chances are that your HVAC isn’t! Dust and particulates are the root cause of many common HVAC problems.
You’ll want to look at your HVAC system’s existing exposure to dust before you proceed. Have you had to clean dust out of it more often than you feel is normal? And have you checked all of the relevant systems, including the blower and the fan coil?
We recommend having your system inspected before a major renovation. The professional can heal clean it out ahead of the renovation and also offer specific recommendations to protect the system while you renovate.
When we think about the HVAC system, most of us focus only on the things that we can easily see such as the air conditioning unit. However, the unit’s efficiency depends on the ducts, and you should be aware that extensive renovation means you’re going to need to make changes to the duct work.
The logic behind this is really simple. Ideally, you have a ductwork setup now that is idealized for your specific house layout. However, a renovation is going to change that layout, and everything from new doors and windows to new walls can completely change the airflow.
Make sure you call a pro to have them upgrade your ventilation system while you’re busy upgrading your house. Ultimately, your HVAC system and your family will thank you!
A/C LOAD CAPACITY
If we’re being honest, home renovations already cost a lot of money. Chances are that you don’t want to think about the added cost of buying a new air conditioner. However, depending on the kinds of renovations you are doing, it might be a necessary evil.
The reason for this is that the air conditioner, like your duct configuration, is set up to work well in the very specific space you already have. If you are going to be added rooms or otherwise expanding the square footage of your home, you might end up with too much house for the A/C load capacity can handle.
At that point, the only real solution is to buy a new A/C. Be sure to consult with a professional about both finding an energy-efficient unit suitable to your new home size as well as installing it!
CHANGING HEATING AND COOLING NEEDS
Earlier, we talked about a pretty simple equation: if your house is getting bigger, then you may need to get a new A/C. However, you should also be aware that you might need a new HVAC if your use of the space in your house has changed in a dramatic way.
For instance, maybe you had an extra room that you simply used for storage, and now it will be a bedroom for a child. Or you bought a house from a family of three and you’re moving in your family of six. Preparing your home for changes can help prevent many common HVAC problems. This guarantees that you will be using the house in general and rooms in particular like they were not previously used.
Your best bet is to contact a pro and let them know what is changing. They can recommend either tweaking settings on your existing HVAC system or, if necessary, purchasing new equipment.
Much of the overall efficiency of your HVAC system comes from the configuration of the vents. Everything from their location to their size and design has a big influence on the overall comfort level of your home. That’s why it’s important to understand that changing the configuration of your home with a renovation means changing the configuration of your vents.
It may simply be a matter of adding more vents. This is especially true if your home renovation plan means adding one or more rooms to the existing space. And if your use of certain spaces is dramatically changing, then it may be necessary to change existing vent configurations to maximize your efficiency.
We recommend doing all of this with the help of a professional. Go to them early on and show them your specific renovation plans. They will be able to make restructuring recommendations and handle any moving and re configuring of your vents.
AIR FLOW DIRECTION
This next one may be an uncomfortable subject, but we like to be thorough. Have you ever wondered why the areas around your bathrooms don’t smell as bad as you might think they would? You can basically thank your existing HVAC system’s air flow direction for that.
As we said before, changing the layout of your home as well as adding new rooms can actually disrupt the air flow. This means if you’re not careful, your family and guests might be in the line of fire of nasty odors due to the air flow.
Of course, this is something you can control and change as necessary. Consult with a professional and discuss everything that the renovation will include. They can help you to make air flow changes and corrections that will keep the home cool while also keeping it odor-free.
CALLING A PROFESSIONAL FOR COMMON HVAC PROBLEMS
Much of our advice has involved contacting a professional. However, you may be worried that you don’t have anyone in the area that you can trust for such major jobs.
That’s what we’re here for! At One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® of Charlotte, we pride ourselves on being the ultimate HVAC authority for this community. We’re not just random mechanics: we are your friends and neighbors who care about you, your family, and your home. Whatever your HVAC needs are, don’t be afraid to give us a call!